If Barcelona Think They Can Afford Salah, Then Stoke City Can Afford Lionel Messi
PS: Natalie Portman Is My New Girlfriend
The BBC transfer gossip column shared the 'news' that
"Barcelona are 'working silently' on a deal to lure Liverpool and Egypt forward Mohamed Salah to the Nou Camp, with new boss Xavi wanting the 29-year-old "at all costs". (El Nacional - in Catalan)"
It must be the same kind of silent work I did on procuring Natalie Portman as my girlfriend.
This just sums up how utterly bollocks bullshit-crazy football transfer "reporting" is. It's a con. Whoever wrote the Catalan piece is living in dreamland.
Barcelona literally cannot afford Mo Salah's right toe right now, nor the wages that toe would command. And it's not even one of his better toes.
Barcelona's budget for next season is due to be half what it was this season (which was already something like half last season's), which means Barcelona have a mid-level Premier League wage bill now – but next season will have a wage bill that must be akin to Stoke City's or Middlesbrough's. Rather than spend money, they will have to offload players just to break even by La Liga's financial fair play model.
Selling players only allows a tiny increase in transfer spending by their FFP rules, presumably because a lot of sales do not result in immediate full income, and a big sell-off to raise funds is not sustainable football practice.
Barcelona cannot afford Salah, nor Raheem Sterling. Their concern needs to be offloading players, as it was this summer.
Let's go back a few months:
"Barcelona’s spending limit for 2021-22 is currently set to be in the region of €160 million, about a quarter of what they were able to spend on wages and transfers just three years ago."
It was clear to everyone, bar Barcelona themselves, what they had to do, until Lionel Messi was forced out. In came various free transfers. Now their allotted budget has been slashed again, ahead of next season.
Mo Salah will not be a free transfer (at least, prior to 2023). Raheem Sterling will not be a free transfer.
Real Madrid can potentially once again afford such players, after their own belt-tightening following the £150m or whatever it was they wasted on Eden Hazard, to follow Barcelona wasting £150m or whatever it was on Philippe Coutinho; and almost as much on Ousmane Dembélé, and a similar amount on Antoine Griezmann. Real's budget is set to be much bigger next season; Barca's is set to be halved.
But hey, websites make a ton of money making up this utter bollocks, and readers flock in, as almost no fan wants to live with the reality of the team they have now, but the promise of a better player, like constantly swiping away on Tinder, past loads of perfectly acceptable potential dates, in search of the never-ending next great thing. (No, I never did see Natalie Portman on there. What a scam! In the end I met her at my local Kentucky Fried Chicken.)
I see sites and Twitter bods selling themselves as insiders, with no insider knowledge. By contrast, I've been contacted by about every major person at Liverpool FC in the last dozen-or-so years (often on multiple occasions), and yet would never ask for secrets or sell myself as an "insider". I'm not "in the loop", for certain, and have no intention of ever looping up.
I just want to analyse Liverpool FC, not to sell transfer gossip, especially when I don't have transfer gossip. But I could pretend, and make a lot more money.
FSG and the Penguins
Some good debate on the site involving some of our long-time US subscribers and others who follow American sports, on the news that FSG are buying a bunch of penguins, or something…
And continuing here: