Sep 2, 2008

Another City record

Crikey, as we say in England. The reasons why Robinho was willing to relocate to Manchester suddenly become clear:

The 24-year-old has agreed a four-year contract that makes him the highest-paid footballer in the history of the game, with a weekly salary of £160,000.

For those of you not used to the quaint habit that British newspapers have of expressing multi-million pound salaries in a working-class "weekly wage" fashion, let's put it this way: that amounts to about $15 million a year.

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the headline of that story is "Manchester City plan £135m bid for Cristiano Ronaldo." Well, you can forget that. Imagine the Red Sox trading Josh Beckett and David Ortiz to the Yankees and you have an idea of how unlikely such a trade is.

Notch a claim like that that to youthful exuberance - youthful in terms of Ownership-Of-A-Premiership-Club years. Not to mention that journalists are an excitable bunch (and this from a blog written by two journalists, so we should know). In fact, some English hacks have started drawing up their own wish lists of who City should buy.

It's important to note, however, that when Roman Ambramovich bought Chelsea the club didn't go crazy buying the biggest names in the world - as you can see, they made big buys, but they weren't record-smashing, world famous buys. Look at the list: Damien Duff for 17m GBP, Hernan Crespo for 16.8m GBP, Adrian Mutu for 15.8m GBP, Juan Sebastian Veron for 15m GBP, Wayne Bridge for 7m and Joe Cole for 6.6m GBP (wasn't that a bargain!). A lot of money, but spread across a lot of players - players bought from such unglamorous locales as Blackburn, West Ham, Southamption and Parma (and, admittedly, Inter Milan and Manchester United). It seemed to work quite nicely for them, didn't it? And what happened when they went the global superstar route, by buying Shevchenko and Ballack? Not a Premiership trophy since.

So while buying Kun Aguero, Karim Benzema and Carlos Tevez in the same transfer window sounds like a great idea, maybe a measure of slow-but-steady thinking would be for the best.


Photo taken from without permission

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