Imagine a man walks into his local shop and asks for a mandazi, the mandazi costs rwf50 but the man instead asks to pay Rwf100,000 for this simple mandazi; soon the whole neighborhood is talking about him “you’re that man who paid 100 G’s for a mandazi that cost rwf50.”
That is the current situation with Manchester City; a newly rich club that wants to splash the cash to show their status. When the current owner Sheik Kaldoun took over he said he wanted to build a team over the long-term period but he has since bid $150m for Kaka, and has since acquired an arsenal of 10 strikers.
The signing of Emmanuel Adebayor is their latest attempt at greatness; his wages of $250,000 a week will be among the highest in the world, but Wenger must have known he is past his prime.
Adebayor has a curious standing among Rwandans in Britain; there was a Rwandan girl called “Fifi” who claimed to be dating him and we didn’t believe her.
One quick phone call and she invited him to the party and he came with two friends called Michael and Didier otherwise known as Essien and Drogba; Rwandans were star struck but in typical fashion kept their reserve but raved about it for ages.
Adebayor had his head turned as AC Milan, Barca, Real, Inter all came knocking; his relationship with Wenger broke down and his form dipped and Fifi took the blame.
No other club would have paid that money for Adebayor considering his form last season but Man City is the exception.
I wonder how the fans feel; Man City has a history steeped in the working class struggle for survival and were unable to match their richer cousins down the road at Old Trafford.
Suddenly their circumstances have changed and they can apparently sign any player; it is like if Mukura VS suddenly became the richest club in Rwanda and signed half the Atraco, APR, Rayon team players. Can money buy success?
Yes for a while but you can end up paying for a long time like Chelsea, Lazio, Hoffenheim, and many other teams have seen.
Arsenal is the flipside to Man City; a steady club with a continued pedigree of success, but even they see times are changing.
Wenger is right to be cautious in the current economic climate; the high-profile of the Premiership has attracted big fish to a small pond; but what happens when these Arab Sheiks tire of the game?
We could have a situation when English football is bankrupt. And what is in store for Spanish football? They are vying for “numero uno” status when their turnover is a third of the $3 billion a year the Premiership makes.
The true wealth of English football is the depth of community clubs; with 92 league clubs and a further 300 semi-professional clubs, so in that respect it is secure but it has problems in the top division.
The English premier league might burn itself out like the North American Soccer League which was a roaring success for a while but faded badly.
This situation has called for calm and cool heads and the main protagonists have remained silent; Mr’s Ferguson, Wenger, Benitez, and Ancelotti have almost boycotted the transfer market until the madness subsides.
Ferguson has lost his main asset in Ronaldo although for a hefty sum, but a lot of the $150m will go to pay off the massive debts of the Glazer family.
He has bought the best right-winger in the league in Antonio Valencia, but lost the fans’ favourite in Tevez; he also lost out on Ribery, is hunting Huntelaar, surging for Aguero but you get the feeling he has the squad to still win next year despite losing Ronaldo.
Benitez has gone mad and is even signing English players now; Glenn Johnson must have a secret Spanish passport to have caught Rafa’s eye. Johnson was overpriced at $25m and I wonder whether the cagey Benitez style will allow Johnson his free wing-back role to good effect;
Ashley Young is another exciting talent linked to Liverpool. Ancelotti is a quiet uncomplaining man who will work with the same squad he got at the end of last season with some minor additions.
Wenger as ever is firstly trying to keep his players with Barca relentlessly pursuing Fabregas to add to their dynamic duo of Iniesta and Xavi. As ever the Professor won’t splash needless cash; expect some obscure players from the French league who will shine; but he will need to replace Adebayor as Bendtnar is not world-class.
My beloved Spurs would do well to sign some of the world class talent for sale at the Dutch auction at Real; any Dutchman will do, be it Huntelaar, Robben, Drenthe, Sneijder and the incomparable Van der Vaart, who might be too slow for England but a delightful footballer to watch.