Spurs Aren’t Big Enough To Sell BaleBy: Robert Reed | July 27th, 2013
Not big enough to sell Bale? I know, I know, I’ve done it myself. This is one of those articles you only clicked on so you could leave a deliciously patronising message at the end; possibly implying that I live in my mum’s basement, don’t have a job, am eleven years old and so on and so forth, but hear me out (then abuse me).
If the increasingly believable looking reports in the newspapers are anything to go by (they usually aren’t) things have started to go ever so slightly Pete Tong on planet Bale. The latest idiotic tripe to originate in the unimpeachable Spanish press is that our trusted ‘partners’ Real Madrid are set to offer €120m for our Welsh wonder Gareth Bale (get well soon Gareth, arse injuries can be a bummer).
It is perhaps unsurprising that what appears to be the majority of Spurs fans are of the same opinion; that being firstly that the story is bullsh…poppycock, and secondly that if it were true then we should take the money and run. Now, while I agree with the first sentiment, I cannot bring myself to agree with the second. I would like to explain why, so that even if you disagree you may at least acknowledge that there is some method to my madness.
I think the best way to do so is give a response to some of the most popular reasons for selling.
Gareth Bale is a fantastic player, but he is one player. If we rely on him again this season and he sustains a bad injury we will be sunk.
True, but the reason we relied so heavily on Bale’s influence last season was because we had strikers who didn’t score goals, which is rarely considered a good thing. I expect that to be remedied shortly and as we have a very good manager, goalkeeper, defence and midfield already in place I see no reason why we won’t be able to at least hold our own against most teams this season without Gareth.
Gareth Bale has just had an amazing season, and his worth could be at it’s maximum. If he does not perform as well this season he could be worth half what we could get for him now.
Now this is undoubtedly true, but then of course the opposite could be true also. Bale has improved year on year and last season he turned into, frankly, twice the player he was before. The fact is that as much as I rate Bale I don’t think he is as good as Messi or Ronaldo, so further improvement is certainly feasible. It’s a long old season, and while improbable it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that by the end of it we could be in possession of a player considered to be the best in the world. In addition, by that time a team like PSG may decide they want to get involved and I’d like nothing more than to see them put Real Madrid in their place with an offer they couldn’t match.
No player is worth €120m, so we should sell if they are such fools.
Well, in the loony oil rich playground world football is becoming (with PSG threatening to meet Lionel Messi’s extortionate buy out fee in a tit for tat argument with Barcelona), I’m not so sure that is true anymore. The worth of anything in the world I believe is defined by how much you can sell it for. If I had a meat pie and somebody offered me £50 for it, I’d be so eager to hand it over I may well drop it. ‘Darn’ I would then say, or four letter words to that effect, ‘that pie was worth £50′, and I’d have right on my side. A lousy analogy, so what. If you want creative writing go read Marca.
Ten very good players are better than one brilliant player.
Very, very true. Put ten very good players against Gareth Bale and they would run rings round him.
OK I am being deliberately obtuse but the point I am making is that until they change the archaic rules of football (sign my petition below) we are only aloud to field eleven players. With a terrific first eleven and a thin squad you will struggle to win things in the modern game, but with a big squad full of good but not great players you will have no chance of winning anything either. Quality, not quantity does not quite apply here but you need quantity with the right amount of quality. A response to my last article read ‘ten Dembeles are better than one Bale’. How is that exactly? How many of those Dembeles would you play at one time? I’m guessing one. Then you’d have a couple of Dembeles on the bench and a load of Dembeles who are getting the needle because they never get a game.
We already have a very good squad which needs tweaking in certain positions, and we have a lot of depth in some areas already. Does anyone think Holtby will be a regular starter this season? Or Lennon after the arrival of Chadli? We have strength in depth and some players in our first team (Lloris, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Sandro) whom I would not wish to change for anyone anyway. Soldado is probably the best forward available at the moment and we can afford him, so it seems some people want us to offload Bale to finance the signing of a couple of full backs.
We could buy four world class players with that money.
No we couldn’t. Next.
OK you won’t let me get away with that, and nor should you. I will explain.
For starters, Levy is Levy, and that leopard ain’t gonna change it’s spots. Do you think he would suddenly be happy to pay over the odds for a player just because there is more cash in the pot? He would just end up haggling for ages over, and eventually not getting, players who cost a lot more than the ones he does it with now.
So how much does a world class player cost? €50m? €60m? Yes, if they wish to play for free. A genuine world class player, the type we would have to battle the likes of United, Real, PSG and Man City for, would demand a minimum of €200,000 a week (I’m doing everything in Euros to save confusion, but that’s around £170,000). Falcao is reported to be on €14m a year! Even if Levy had a complete personality transplant and was suddenly willing to absolutely roger his own wage structure with extreme prejudice (leading to our other top players wanting some form of parity when their contract comes up for renewal) that would leave us able to realistically buy one, and he wouldn’t be as good as Bale.
In addition, signing a world class player is more than just paying the right fee; you have to convince the player you can satisfy their lofty ambitions in the game. Could we go to a player like Cavani or Falcao or even Suarez and say, ‘hey, we’ve got no Champions League football and we’ve just sold our best player (because that’s what we do), but check out this plush training ground! Don’t just look at it, go have a run around on that bad boy.’
This more than anything is the point I wish to make. We are not a big enough club to make that money work for us and give us what we have now with Bale. Aside from being the superb player he is the lad is also a magnet for investment, quality signings and not to mention publicity. Did you see the massive poster of Bale’s mug in Times Square, New York? That’s a Spurs player in a Spurs shirt catching the eye of countless Americans who, granted, mostly don’t know who he is. But they will!
Hewlett Packard must be beside themselves with their logo on a huge, free billboard advertisement in Times Square. How many other, richer companies will be looking at that kind of exposure and thinking, ‘I’d like a piece of that!’ Bale is so marketable that losing him would cost us a fortune in lost revenue, why do you think Real are willing to pay so much for him?
We’d have €120m to spend.
Even that is extremely unlikely. To anyone who thinks that, let me introduce you to Mr. Daniel Levy; you clearly haven’t met. There is no way that our chairman would give an entire transfer fee of that size to his manager to spend on players. He would quite possibly withdraw it all in notes to throw in the air and dance around in with abandon, but not to piss away on players. A sizeable chunk of it surely, but not all of it. That is profit, and it looks nice on the balance sheet. There is a nasty rumour that copper wire was invented by Levy and Joe Lewis while fighting over a penny, but I don’t believe it.
Granted, that is a little unfair, and leads me to my next point. We have already spent £24m on players this season and the spending is set to continue. We are not a poor club, and do not need a huge cash injection to compete. What we need to live with the big boys is a great squad and some absolute, best of the best quality. We have it! If we sell Bale we will not. No other team in our league be it Man City, Man United, Chelsea and certainly not Arsenal have a player of such quality in their ranks.
If Gareth Bale played for another team we would not have a snowball’s chance in hell of convincing him to join Spurs, even if we paid €120m. To entice him we would have to be one of the absolute giants of the game and offer him stratospheric wages; yet here we are, with him in our team for next season, happy on comparatively meagre wages.
We have totally lucked out! One of the very best players in the world has just popped up in our squad to everyone’s surprise. He is literally for us a player money can’t buy, so why the hell would we sell him?
If the money would propel us into the big league spenders then that would be different, but it will not. Even with a one time windfall of that size the likes of PSG and Man City would still blow us out of the water. They can spend that much in one window on transfer fees alone and do the same the very next year. Don’t speak to me about financial fair play! Do you think Michel Platini will be excluding his own countrymen from the Champions League? Gimme a break.
There will come a time when Bale will leave, be it next summer or the summer after that, and that will be the time to sell for as much as we can get. We need him to achieve Champions League qualification this season; in that eventuality having the ‘Bale money’ next summer will enable us to buy the class of player who will only sign for a CL club.
Whether young Gareth really has said he wants to leave or not, we aren’t in a position where we have to sell. While that is the case we should hang on to him at all costs; at least for one more season.
So let the abuse commence! But remember, you will be abusing an eleven year old. Do you really wanna be that guy?
Follow me on Twitter @RobertReedUK
Some Related Spurs Posts:
Read the rest of the comments