Posts Tagged ‘Kaka’

Has Kaka chosen football over money?

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I read that Kaka – the much chased Manchester City AC Milan midfielder – has rejected the advances of Eastwood because he favours “football over money.”

It is a lyrical notion and one which the press has taken to heart in part of what is an increasingly ugly campaign to slap down Manchester’s blue club for deigning to rise above their station as perennial underachievers in the shadow of United. They may still be perennial underachievers but as the Red Devils look at a hole in their finance the Blues try patch holes in their team with seemingly limitless money. It may be crass, it may be gauche but it is also eclipsing.

However it is not happening and – we are told – Kaka who is owned by Jesus is staying to lead the life of a simple man in Milan. Well, perhaps not.

Kaka is hardly paid a small salary by Milan although figures of how much the Brazilian earns are hard to come by and warped by the exchange rate issues that heightened the proposed transfer fee in the first place. He is paid handsomely by Milan and is no one’s Peter Knowles but perhaps the maths of how much Kaka would and could earn at City are not as straightforward as one would think.

Milan played Portsmouth in this season’s UEFA Cup without ever having troubled the Champions League and while he is a good footballer no one seriously expects Kaka to be able to lift Manchester City into the top four this season. Assuming he could do next then his return to the top level of club football would come in autumn 2011 – hardly the stuff of merchandiser’s dreams.

Likewise his deals with Italian sportswear company Diadora are lucrative but depend on his high profile in relevant markets. Would they be as interested in a player who is playing Premier League football and no Champions League? What hit would have to take in image rights when other players are basked in glory and he is doing a good job at Eastlands? You do not see many people wearing Steven Ireland branded boots.

None of which is to say that Kaka has not knocked back Manchester City because he simply does not want to play for them but rather than the suggestion that he is some egalitarian Prince above the dirtiness of City’s money and away from the bad things in football is almost certainly in true. After all he continues to play for a club that were found guilty of charges much more serious than City’s being annoyingly rich.

Perhaps that is the secret of Kaka’s reluctance to leave Milan. He might not be the same without the Referees on his side.

Those things that cannot be counted as Kaka talks to Manchester City

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

There is no measure of the things that could have been. It is not possible to say the result of D from the addition of A + B = C. There are things we know in football and things we speculate on and the two should not be confused.

We know Manchester City are making a £100m bid for Kaka and we know some people question it. For Manchester City’s sake one would hope that when the cheque is signed for the player another is made out to the business to cover the costs of £500,000 a week for four years and put in a locked account. It would be an horrific legacy to be left with should Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – who is funding the Blues – opt out.

Why would he opt out though? This accusation of short-termed-ness was made towards Roman Abramovich when he arrived at Chelsea but the Russian is still making bank transfers at the end of each month to pay for the wages that outstrip the income. In the full remit of football experience at the higher levels one struggles to think of a chairman who has exited simply because he has become bored. Even Simon Jordan – probably the most high profile exitee – has his reasons for going.

So there is little reason to believe that Sheikh Mansour will leave City at all – let alone with debts just as Abromovich remains, just as Jack Walker remained at Blackburn Rovers. The players stay at the table even when the stakes get higher – What is going on at Eastlands is a rising of the stakes in football and while we should not doubt the spending power at Stamford Bridge we could compare the London club to those at Ewood Park in being out gunned in spending now.

What we cannot compare – what we will not know – is the effect such big numbers have on the potential investors. How the cost of living in the Premiership and outside it affects the business men and other would be chairmen when they come to look at buying clubs. Mike Ashley at Newcastle United arrived admitting that the club could never compete in a cash fight with their Premiership rivals and his decision to buy the St James Park club is hardly unquestioned. How many other Ashleys who could be investing are looking at the voracious appetite for money and deciding to stay away.

How often is that happening lower down the ladder? What would be the point of buying a Championship club, a League One or Two club, when you look at the cost of doing business at the top level and decide it is more suited to countries and corporations rather than football supporters with deep pockets.

Of course none of this matters. Manchester City’s deep pockets enable them to buy unsettled Brazilians and struggle with relegation while Liverpool spend not massive amounts and top the Premiership. If you want to progress your club at every level then run it well, build permanency in management and structure and progress will be made. Manchester City are less of a threat to the Premiership title this year than they were last under Sven Goran Errikson and still the same danger as they were when they employed Joe Royle or Kevin Keegan – none.

However trickle down economics rule in football and aside from perceived problems for would be investors there is a very real issue with inflation which football has no beginning in answering. Football’s finances are so out of the control of football’s authorities it is almost impossible to see them coming back in.

Manchester City, Shrewsbury Town, Gretna. No club is ever required to prove sustainability to their spending plans and in the latter case it is the community which ends up suffering as it loses an asset.

We can count the losses with ease but have no way of tallying how many good people who could improve the game stand on the sidelines as the wheels of finance spin faster and faster.