Saturday, 12 September 2009

The £47m man

A big story in The Times today, by James Ducker. City are to pay a fee of £47million for Carlos Tévez:

City’s billionaire Arab owners have agreed to pay almost twice the £25.5 million fee widely reported to have changed hands, The Times can reveal. An initial £15 million payment is to be followed by two additional sums of £16 million.

Another £3.5 million will be paid if City win the Champions League while Tévez is at the club — an improbable scenario, but Sheikh Mansour has already shown the lengths to which he is prepared to go to transform the club from perennial underachievers into contenders for the biggest prizes.

What to make of this? First up, I think this is true. James Ducker gets good City stories. And City have been feline in their quick reactions to news stories recently. All we have so far regarding this is a 'no comment'.

So what does this tell us that we did not already know? That Sheikh Mansour is quite ready to spend well over the odds to improve the team? Has anyone not been watching? £17m on Nigel de Jong and £24m on Joleon Lescott tell us that prudence isn't exactly a big concern for our owner. That Hughes really rates Carlos Tévez - a forward - half bull, half tiger - in his own image? Or that Garry Cook is desperate for City to sign a superstar, to create a news story, to promote the brand?

In fact, it would have been more of a surprise had we paid MSI the £25.5m for Tévez that Kia Joorabchian had demanded from Manchester United. This was a fee set in 2007 and one which United begrudgingly met. It is well established that City have to pay between 150-200% of market value for players that we want. So for MSI to accept as much money for Tévez's services from City as they were from United would be bizarrely bad business. They were always going to ask for more.

And we were always going to pay it. Remember what Mark Hughes said soon after we signed him:
"The market is possibly inflated for United because their valuation of players is different to ours. The worth of getting a player of Carlos Tevez's quality is possibly higher for us than it is for United because they are in a different position in terms of their development. For us, the worth of a player will be higher."
This is certainly true. Carlos Tévez may not be the best striker in the world but he may well have been the best we could buy this summer. Of course I would rather we bought Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney or Didier Drogba but they are all untouchable at their clubs. David Villa doesn't want to come to England. We couldn't agree a deal with Samuel Eto'o. Ibrahimovic is too proud to take our money. Thierry Henry may no longer be a wise long-term investment, and does not want to play for an EPL team other than Arsenal. So who else is there? Diego Milito turned us down last summer. Benzema refused to go to United, never mind us. We could have gambled on a Fabiano or a Huntelaar but we know how much Hughes rates Premier League experience.

Carlos Tévez was almost certainly the best striker available to us last summer. Hughes and Cook were both very keen on him. We are in the habit of paying well over the odds for players. Other than the fact that the breaking of the British transfer record is in itself newsworthy, I don't see how this is a particularly big deal.


newsoftheblues said...

yep fully agree, i sat reading the paper this morning, i simply said ..So What?

Tony Cascarino had to have his say, but again, who cares, i value his opion in the same bracket at Jim beglin, stan collymore and paddy cerrand! Uninformed ex footballers turn amature hacks

grayfield18 said...

I am sure what view i take of it either. I suppose if it is true they wished to keep it secret for a number of reasons, not least valuations even more silly than £24m for Lescott.
Why not go over the odds for Ribery he is already silly money but i doubt his club or he would have turned down Ronaldo style money. In any event we would have the hat trick of ugliest players in the premiership !

ChrisR said...

i LOVE Jim Beglin!! :(

newsoftheblues said...

haha you love beglin, Really?