Thursday, September 5, 2013

London Clubs Dominate Transfer Window

Yes, this time around, the biggest transfers of the summer belonged to two London-based clubs and Chelsea was not one of them. Rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs dominated the headlines all summer and emerged the biggest winners at 12 am on Sept 3.

Few would have thought a record-breaking transfer would have emerged from White Hart Lane, but it did and Gareth Bale was sold for a world record of GBP85.3 million to Real Madrid. This transfer fee will surely leave pundits and football fans alike puzzled for months, if not years, to come. Especially when you consider the fact that the previous transfer record-holder was Cristiano Ronaldo.

There's no doubt that Bale is one of the most gifted footballers of his generation in Britain but to value him higher than Ronaldo is somewhat ludicrous, if not downright madness. Ronaldo has scored 147 goals in 138 appearances for Real Madrid. Bale managed 42 in 146 appearances for Tottenham.

Granted, Bale isn't a striker like Ronaldo and his goal tally as a left back / winger is impressive. But GBP85.3 million?

Its just as puzzling from a commercial perspective.

Unlike Ronaldo or the last Briton to move to the Bernabeu (David Beckham), Bale's celebrity status is confined to the Premier League and is unlikely to spur an increase in Real Madrid jersey sales in markets such as China and the United States.

Moreover, there's no telling how Bale's arrival will affect the rest of Madrid's squad (ie: Ronaldo). At present, there are already rumours of discontent among the players as Bale's signing led to the sale of playmaker, Mesut Ozil, to Arsenal.

After failing all summer-long to sign Luiz Suarez and/or Wayne Rooney (depending on which reports you believe), Arsene Wenger finally captured a marquee signing and in Ozil, Arsenal now have one of the best attacking midfielders in the world. And there's little doubt that Ozil will blend immediately into Arsenal's style of free-flowing attacking football.

And commercially, Ozil will certainly drive up the Gunners jersey sales the world over.
As for Tottenham, the club now sits on a massive pile of cash and despite spending a bit of it on three players, they will have the funds to bring in more top talent to White Hart Lane in the future without having to break the bank.

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