Category Archives: Transfers

“People argue between Pele or Maradona. Di Stéfano is the best, much more complete.” (Pele)

The greatest player of all time? Pele thought so.

The greatest player of all time? Pele thought so.

The appellation ‘legend’ is often overused. The merely good become star players and such stars receive an even more exalted status. With the case of Alfredo Di Stefano however, it’s a label that fits comfortably with the history and record of the player. Although his zenith was a little before my time, it’s not difficult to discern from grainy tapes of games that here was a player with the poise and balance of an genuine athlete, and the ability to play in virtually any outfield position and still be outstanding

The Argentine-born striker played just under 400 games for Los Blancos, netting 308 goals during his time in the capital. Between 1954 and 1964, he also accumulated eight La Liga titles, five consecutive European Cups, one Spanish Cup and one Intercontinental Cup. It could however have been so different, as the first kit he donned in Spain was not the white of Real Madrid, but the Blaugrana of fierce rivals Barcelona. How this came to happen is a story full of intrigue and conspiracy theories, all painted in the colours of the people deploying their own particular versions of it.  Continue reading →

TPO funds – The Pay-Day Loans of the football world?

football-money

Fifa has agreed to ban the third-party ownership (TPO) of players. It’s the practise that allows clubs to buy players wherein the transfer fee is part-funded by an investment company, which then takes a share in the commercial rights of the player, with the desire for that percentage to turn a handsome profit when the player is sold on. In essence, the fund is using the club as a finishing school for a player to gain in experience and ability, thus increasing his value in the transfer market and proportionately having the same effect on their investment. Some see such practices as reasonable, others as the inevitable and insidious continuing encroachment of financial affairs into the world of football. Continue reading →

‘Mini Messi’ joins the Sporting Lisbon academy

Ryan Gauld

Sporting Lisbon have jumped the queue slowly being formed by a number of a number Premier League clubs, and snatched away the player called ‘mini Messi’ in Scotland. The Lisbon club have laid out a fairly modest £3millikon fee to whisk the 18 year-old away to the Estadio Jose Alvalade on a six year contract. With sporting having an established line of stars from iis stable including Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo, Gauld’s future is probably in experienced hands.  Continue reading →