I was not stunned by the hysteria associated with Robert Lewandowski’s move to Barcelona. Well, I became interested in football at a time when this club was neither elegant nor strong. I have a different experience than a whole group of more famous journalists. The first match between Poland and Spain, which I remember as a personal experience, was just won by the Poles, and it was away from their court. The World Cup in Spain, which was less than two years later, I remember the one in which the walls helped the hosts, although they played tragically and even with Honduras they would not have drawn, had it not been for the penalty kick, which was then seen as unfair. But these are just details from my memory, I focused on the Poles who achieved something completely normal for me at that time, but unimaginable today. They ranked third in the world.
I am writing this long introduction because, unfortunately, these experiences have marred my reception of the ball for life. The emotions I experienced during the Polish national team’s World Cup matches and Widzio’s performance in the European Cups, Robert Lewandowski’s goals at Bayern or Barcelona do not evoke even the slightest bit. I am already a lost generation in modern football.
But thanks to this, I can look at all this hockeya that we have today with a distance and experience that we give nothing of forever. And by the way, write about the hustle and bustle that can be heard in the sports media. And the more indigestion became for me, the more I remembered what happened two years ago. At the time, the same journalists praising Lewandowski and Barcelona today wrote how the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the greed, vanity and hypocrisy of world football. Then it turned out that the transfer amounts are “a disgrace to the poor”, as the Vatican daily “Osservatore Romano” wrote after Christian Vieri’s transfer. “The arrogant and greedy crooks, who are now threatened with bankruptcy, are doing their best” – one columnist wrote triumphantly.
Lewandowski went to Barcelona and Barcelona is already great
All these texts were old ugly, it was enough for Lewandowski to go to FC Barcelona and jump in – the beautiful capitalism of football is back again, and Barcelona president Joan Laporta has become a better magician than God. Because God created the universe from nothing, and Laporta had a more difficult time, because he had to create something with a debt of more than a billion euros. And conjure up a team already crowned in our media to be the master of the 2023 universe.
This bypassing Laporta’s actions disgusts me even more. The same journalists who will write touching texts about the need to focus on the mental health of athletes, will write about depression caused by unprecedented stress, and pass the agenda crawling to Frenkie de Jong, Memphis Depay and other players that Barcelona does not want against. To meet through contracts and forcibly push them to lower clubs, where they are supposed to earn less.
Agreements must be respected. This is the rule of law and justice
More than one club builds its future on humiliation and abuse. There are dozens of articles based on leaks from the club that de Jong does not want to make an effort to save Barcelona. that his contract is illegal; that he insisted on negotiation and refused; He only sees the end of his nose, etc. However, few have written that Barcelona should honor the contracts they have made. This is the rule of law and justice. If I had been with Lewandowski, I would have feared history would repeat itself in a year. Again, someone will have to “make an effort”, that is, give up part of the salary. After all, the debt will remain the same, and the leverage may not be enough again, and Laporta has already announced that he will bring Leo Messi.
He’s also curious with these levers. The funniest opinion I’ve heard was something like this: if the banks finance these moves, Barcelona’s financial outlook is very good. Very accurate opinion. But I don’t know if its author is aware of how banks view Barcelona’s financial prospects. Well, I suspect they are still prepared to indebt Barcelona for another 1 or 2 billion euros, so that some Saudi princes or investors from the United States can finally find, pay off the debt, and “save” the big club from bankruptcy, during privatization. He. She.
This scenario has been implemented more than once. Not everyone who has read “Futbonomia” by Simon Cooper and Stefan Szymansky should be surprised. The authors of a revealing book on finances in football wrote that fans should not be afraid of the club’s debt or even bankruptcy. After a few seasons at most, the “old” companies always come back with a clean slate, and since this is a completely different club, only the name is correct, it doesn’t matter anymore.
400 million fans of Barcelona? laughable
The second curiosity that only elicits a smile of pity is Laporta’s words about “the 400 million Barcelona fans around the world who need a certain level”. These words are swallowed up by the media around the world without comment. One way or another, no one would think that the support of these 400 million people should be somehow accidental, because with such a crowd, Barcelona should use some financial leverage.
Some time ago, the media reported that a Premier League match with an audience of seven million viewers around the world (the vast majority in Africa and Asia) represented a £1m profit for the club from T-shirt and stadium ads. So if each of those 400 million spectators watched one game, Barcelona should get only 67 million euros. I repeat: the ads are only on shirts, around the stadium, and from only one match. However, Barcelona plays about sixty games this season. Where are the TV rights and where are the match-day receipts and sales of T-shirts and kits? You really have to be totally illiterate in finance for the club to owe more than 1 billion euros with 400 million fans and resort to leverage. Although there is, of course, another option – the vast majority of those 400 million Barcelona fans are limited to likes on Facebook and Instagram, and they don’t want to waste time watching matches – even illegally.
However, my fellow journalists are my biggest disappointment. I know they love football 99.9 percent and it’s hard for them to criticize anything about it, but that love shouldn’t be blind. The glorification of the pole at a big club could not hide the fact that what is happening around the Barcelona transfers. This is a historical curiosity, and what the club does for the players it signed with them a year or two ago is just gross. And all those who see that there is a different reality other than football, such a move for a pole to a big club enjoys much less.
“The uncomfortably humble TV fan. Twitter generalist. Extreme music enthusiast. Internet connoisseur. Social media lover.”