Thinking outside the box.
Barca have been touting the sale of Malcom in order to free up funds and places for a stellar signing to their squad, as well as making little effort to comply with FFP rules.
Now if I was chairman of a team in competition with Barca, I wouldn’t make a bid for Malcom.
RM & Barca spread discontent around the footy world by using the press to drum up rumours that they are interested in every player who fulfils their “star rating”.
This creates instability and discontent within clubs further down the food chain.
Manure still attempt to do the same and PSG are new to the game. Citeh & Liverpool do the same to a lesser extent.
Doesn’t it make sense for every team to NOT buy anyone from any of those clubs. Let them stew with these “not needed” players in their reserves whilst being paid and not playing. They wouldn’t then have enough room in their squads to buy anyone’s top players or indeed wage a rumour campaign through the press. Chelsea just hijack other’s deals with bigger wage offerings.
Creating a situation whereby top players from other clubs think twice before joining any of the above is that simple…provided nobody buys any of their existing players.
A simplistic view I admit.
But it would be the rest of football railing against the money laden FFP cheats and more a more effective strategy than EUFA could ever implement.
There are counter arguments, of course.
Clubs who would like one or two of the supposed super clubs’ players who stagnate in their reserves, will be more than tempted to buy such players to improve their own lot. Understandable, but by doing so they free up space in the top clubs’ squads and the whole cycle starts again!
Rumour – discontent – sale…rumour – discontent – sale. A merry-go-round. That’s how you stay at the top of the food chain.
Also, how on earth do you implement such a strategy between competitors in the less cash rich strata of football?
You can only do it by contacting your fellow chairmen and making an unofficial agreement to implement said strategy and to promise not to do unto others as you wouldn’t have done to yourself.
Southampton would be a case in question. Liverpool raped them of all their good players and Tottenham took their manager.
I doubt though, that Southampton were subjected to the same level of press manipulation that Barca and Real Madrid employ today. My conscience is clear on that one!
Wouldn’t such a strategy be against restriction of trade rules? The answer lies in whether or not the use of the press to further their own ends is a valid form of industrial espionage…if there is such a thing.
Are Tottenham innocent in all of this?
I can remember Richard Gough playing for us for one season. He then moved to Glasgow Rangers to whom Dundee Utd, his former team, would not sell. I always suspected that we played some part in facilitating a move which Dundee Utd would never have agreed to. We got a very good player for one season.
Do we use ulterior methods of recruitment?
I don’t know. If we do, then most of the rumours and links to players don’t work!
All the above is of course pie in the sky and the only alternative that I can think of to the wishy-washy FFP rules and even weaker policing of the clubs who ride roughshod through our favourite sport for personal kudos and fantasy football ambitions.