Gareth Bale's agent responds to Real Madrid fans' statement: "They treated him disgustingly"
Gareth Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, has responded to an angry statement released by The Federation of Real Madrid supporters’ clubs, criticising the Welshman.
The relationship between Gareth Bale and Real Madrid fans is at an all-time low. The Welshman has spent almost the entire season on the sidelines at Madrid, playing only the first three games of the current campaign. For Wales, he has featured on four occasions. Having recovered in time for Wales' recent World Cup qualifying matches, he played in the opening 45 minutes of his country's 5-1 win over Belarus, before picking up another calf injury that saw him ruled out of the fixture with Belgium just three days later. Despite the injury, Bale made his 100th appearance for Wales in the convincing win over Belarus.
Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett made a statement on Deportes Cuatro this week regarding his client and his future. Bale's contract with Real Madrid ends in June 2022, and he will be then free to leave Los Blancos, bringing to a close a nine-year spell in the Spanish capital, one of which he spent on loan at Tottenham Hotspur.
Barnett hits out at Real Madrid supporters
Barnett was also very critical of the behaviour that, in his opinion, Real Madrid fans have shown towards the Wales international. "It's not important, I don't care what they think. I don't care about them [Real Madrid fans]. Why should I care? I think the fans treated him disgustingly," Barnett said.
Real Madrid supporters criticise Bale and Barnett
The Federación de Peñas Madridistas de la Comunidad de Madrid (Real Madrid supporters' clubs), have since issued a strong statement in which they criticise the attitudes of Bale and Barnett. The statement is as follows:
"The Federation of Real Madrid supporters’ clubs of the Madrid region wish to express our condemnation and disgust over Jonathan Barnett’s words this week during the meeting of European agents.
"At the aforementioned meeting, Gareth Bale’s representative said: “It’s not important, I don’t care about them [Real Madrid fans]. Why should I care? I think the fans treated him disgustingly.”
"This is far from the first time that the septuagenarian agent has vented fierce criticism against Real Madrid as an institution or against the club’s fans. The last episode was last season when the object of his attacks was Zinedine Zidane. “Zidane is a disgrace. He does not show respect for a player who has done so much for Real Madrid.” Furthermore, the Briton has made it clear on more than one occasion that all of Real Madrid’s fans should roll out a red carpet for his client.
"Gareth Bale, who during his first years as a Real Madrid player enjoyed a golden period on and off the pitch despite his ever-more frequent injuries, has now caused the immense majority of Real Madrid fans to grow weary of him. This season he has played just 193 minutes for the club while whenever he is called up to play for his country he always miraculously recovers, before getting injured again when his international commitments are over. This situation, in which the player is only available to play for Wales, has been going on for several years.
"We don’t understand what behaviour exactly Mr Barnett is referring to as the fans do not have the opportunity to voice their opinion over the forward. We remind him that since it was made non-obligatory for players not in the squad to attend Real Madrid games, Gareth Bale has not attended a single match, making the possibility of one encountering the other absolutely non-existent. On the other hand, we believe that as a Real Madrid player he should return even a tiny fraction of everything he has received from Real Madrid and rectify the words of his agent (of whom, given his lack of morals, we cannot expect anything)."
Barnett responds to Real Madrid fans' statement
In an exclusive interview with AS, Barnett was asked for his opinion on the above statement.
—The main group of fans of Real Madrid - a platform that brings together all the main fan groups - have published a statement about what you said in Madrid about Real Madrid fans, that they have been disgusted with Gareth Bale. They are asking you in this statement whether you can apologise or change your words."
—There is no solution. I don’t care. Why do I care?
—Gareth is in his last season. Why is he going to be in a bad way with the Real Madrid fans?
—He never said it. I said it. It’s my thoughts not Gareth Bale’s thoughts. I don’t speak on behalf of Gareth Bale. I just think the fans treated him disgustingly.
—Why do you think that?
—Did you not hear the booing, and the way they behaved. Did you not hear that?
—Did you not hear that? Did you hear how they behaved. Did you hear it? Yes or no?
—Yes, I heard it.
—So that’s why. It’s because it’s true. He was fantastic for Real Madrid. Look at all the things he won with them. And the goals he scored. And do they treat him properly? No.
—Probably it’s because they expect more from him.
—They don’t know anything and I don’t care about them.
—I will write that.
—They asked me. It’s my opinion, not Gareth Bale’s. You can say that anybody that thinks they didn’t behave badly they can explain to me why they didn’t behave badly.
—It’s not important to me, I don’t care about them.
Final year at Real Madrid
Given his current injury status and the brilliant form of forwards Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, it remains to be seen how much of a role Bale will play over the coming months in what appears to be his last ever season at the Santiago Bernabéu.