By Ade Ojeikere
The most exciting periods every season are the two transfer windows – the one in the summer and that in January which many managers have kicked against. In fact, the latter window in recent seasons has not be as active as that first since most managers have learned how to utilise previous seasons. Already, punters don’t expect much trading when the window opens due to the effect of the coronavirus which has destroyed the revenue bases of all clubs.
According to Deloitte in a study, it was discovered wages at Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea as a percentage of club revenue rose sharply last season as part of a £1.7billion outlay on wages by the ‘big six’.
”The figures also indicate that eight Premier League clubs recorded wage to revenue ratios of 70 per cent or more – the warning threshold used by UEFA in its Financial Fair Play rules. The published figures for the 2018-19 season will only worsen now the current campaign has been interrupted by the pandemic, with matches set to be played behind closed doors for some time, Deloitte stated.
What the report inferred is that ”top teams would face a permanent loss of £500million because of rebates to broadcasters and a loss of match day revenue without fans. And they warn a further £500m missing from 2019-20 balance sheets will only be recouped if next season’s competition is able to be played in full.
”Despite players and staff at many Premier League clubs taking temporary wage cuts or deferrals when the season was suspended there is still set to be a major impact. Chelsea’s wages to revenue ratio jumped from 55 per cent in the 2017-18 season to 70 per cent last season.
”While the club’s wage bill increased from £246m to £314m, revenues went up only marginally from £448m to £452m. The percentage of revenue that went on wage costs at Manchester United increased from 50 per cent to 56 per cent, while at Manchester City it went up from 52 to 59 per cent. At United, the wage bill rose from £296m in 2017-18 to £352m last season as revenues increased from £590m to £627m.”
Is soccer management meant for lackeys of governors like we have in European countries? certainly not. the losses are mind-boggling but be assured that the top-flight managers in England know what to do to cushion the effects of coronavirus in the long term. The decision to restart the big leagues are part of the ways to halve the effect, with loss to be written off through the teams’ insurance packages. after all, this is a one-off event whose lessons have not be lost on the economic managers of soccer in Europe for subsequent seasonal projections. you can take that to the bank.
A few analysts have suggested half the price purchases culminating in sacrilegious figures which won’t add up considering the pedigree of such stars. Nothing has been cut on stone with the big movers such as Mbappe, Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz, RB Leipzig centre forward Timo Werner, the shock departures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, with Sergio Ramos’ 15-year career with Real Madrid likely to be extended with the captain set to be offered a new deal.
Big money transfer players carry the cross of hefty release clauses which most times were inserted to make cash for both the players and the clubs, not forgetting the agents. never mind, sports in business.
Real Madrid wish to extend Ramos’ stay by another 12 months until 2022, with extension taking the rugged defender beyond his 36th birthday. Ramos has eyes on the MLS, which could signal his exit from the big matches.
French newspaper L’Equipe, stated Tuesday that PSG hierarchy have told that he could look for another clubs after June 30, since his services wouldn’t be needed beyond his transfer expiry date. The reported further revealed that Silva rejected a pay cut, knowing that clubs would match his wages at PSG or even improve on them rather than remain at Parc des Princes. Silva surely knows his onions as Everton and AC Milan are keen on securing his signature.
Transfer markets’ sales have its twists and turns with Philippe Coutinho, former hero at Anfield with Liverpool being tagged an outcast at Barcelona although he is at Bayern Munich on a loan deal.
Coutinho isn’t finding his situation at Barca and Bayern a laughing matter even with his undoubted skills. The Brazilian must be pinching himself to find out where he got it wrong. Unfortunately, Liverpool’s management are not interested in Coutinho, who was warned by Klopp not to join Barcelona in January 2018, but remain at Anfield. No surprises, therefore, for Jurgen Klopp’s cold shoulder towards his former midfield gem.
But the 27-year-old’s most likely destination appears to be Tyneside, should their £300million Saudi-led takeover go through, according to France Football. Coutinho is a victim of teams’ playing styles. At Liverpool, he initiated all moves. The Reds depended on his passes and creative. Even when Coutinho wasn’t playing well, others took charge because it is part of the team’s character. But at Barca, Coutinho wasn’t the teams pivot either defensively or when initiating an attack. And this affected his psyche and performances on the pitch.
The same fate he suffered at Bayern Munich whose direct play froze out a classy Coutinho. Both teams acknowledged that the Brazilian is a great talent not minding his precarious situation with them.
The transfer market’s trends are not complete for this writer without discussing what they have in stock for Africans, especially the Nigerians doing well such as Victor Osimhen, Odion Ighalo, Samuel Chukwueze, Simon Moses, Odion Ighalo, even though his loan deal has been extended, largely due to the fact that foreigners have until October this year before they can come into China, in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
Other Nigerians include Jamilu Collins, Maduka Okoye, Tronne Ebuehi, Francis Uzoho, Kelechi Nwakali, Taiwo Awoniyi, Kenneth Omeruo Chidozie Awaziem and Nigeria international Henry Onyekuru who agency reports stated that Turkish giants Galatasaray have officially indicated an interest in signing permanently, although they are waiting for French side Monaco’s confirmation to do business with them since they own Onyekuru.
Ighalo chose the right option of shunning Chinese megabuck for a drastic pay cut to remain at Manchester United. Playing for the Red Devils is the lifetime ambition of the Nigerian. He obviously has many more years to make money, including to other leagues until he is 40. Ighalo is scoring goals again, the most recent being partnering England international Rashford. The dream attacking option for Solskjaer where returnee Paul Paul Pogba would be playing as number 10 produced braces for Rashford and Ighalo. Did I hear say EPL beware? Of course, goals make the game beautiful to watch. and when it involves a Nigerian, nothing can be better than that.
For Osimhen, he needs to be guided. He needs to make playing regularly the basis for any movement, with next year holding a lot for young players across the continent. Fitness for players come with playing regular club football which rubs off how well the play for their countries during competitions. Osimhen, Chukwueze and Ndidi are some of the Nigerians in Europe who would attract a lot of gossips in the next tow seasons’ transfer market. I hope the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) chieftains and Gernot Rohr can move closer to them for career guidance.
They should be told to tarry a while in the next two seasons since the World Cup offers the best platform to make megabucks if such players do very well at the Mundial in Qatar.
It would be foolhardy for Osimhen to join a big club where the man fighting for his position is a national of that country. If does, he could as well buy a seat belt to strap himself on the bench.
Osimhen at 21 cannot afford to seat on the bench with the World Cup only two years away. Moving to a bigger club like Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United may be too much responsibility for the Nigerian striker and he hasn’t gathered enough experience to shoulder the weight of expectations at these huge clubs. As tempting as it sounds to move to a bigger club, it will be safe for him to be a household name in Lille where he is already loved and change clubs after the Mundial.
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