Barcelona’s summer transfer dealings gives us a good example, one that should not be overlooked, regarding the ability of football to regenerate itself. Laporta’s economic blitzkrieg has given Xavi’s squad a bunch of decent players: Lewandowski, Raphinha, Kessié, Christensen, the wayward Dembélé, who finally agreed to stay... And it’s not over yet. Koundé was officially announced yesterday and Chelsea, who have already lost Christensen, are feeling the heat over Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso. All this from a club in dire financial straits, as is well known, and with a project in the near future to build a new stadium and without having moved on De Jong or Memphis.
Soccer’s current model in Spain works
Without aiming to stir up more controversy, this ability of Barça to get out of a hole of their own making gives the lie to so many predictions of an imminent doom for the sport: that youngsters don’t follow it, that LaLiga is in freefall without Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, that LaLiga president Javier Tebas is a disaster, that it needs a Super League to avoid the boring old Champions League. That’s not the case, obviously, if Barcelona has managed to bring in more than five hundred million euros (dollars are worth about the same these days) in less than a month for selling future television rights, on which the two investors undoubtedly hope to collect a fat return. Football’s current model works, that’s why Laporta has been able to find someone to lend him out of the hole.
Barcelona need to register players
The fans are watching on delighted. Laporta has become the phenomenon of the summer. For many it is as if after jumping from a fifth floor window at the hands of Bartomeu and Messi and surviving, Barça are now jumping from an eighth floor window at the hands of Laporta and Alemany and landing smiling. Now the intrigue is over whether Barça can meet their squad salary limit and Tebas allows all the players to be registered for the league. That is the tricky part of the matter. Laporta seems to have chosen a fait accompli strategy that puts Tebas in a difficult situation, but the LaLiga president is not a man who is easily spooked. I hope De Jong and Memphis leave, Piqué and co accept salary cuts and we can enjoy the party in peace.