Arthur Kennedy writes: Barcelona FC's Neymar tantrums
He was supposed to be the prince to Messi's kingship! Barca had the succession all planned out. Neymar would play in the shadow of Messi for a few more years and then become the new king. To assure the plan, they had resigned Neymar and put in his contract a ridiculous 200 million-pound buy-out clause they believed nobody could pay.
Meanwhile, Neymar, already on the Brazilian summit and looking to be his own man was unhappy with being in Messi's shadow at Barca. He had glimpsed the future in Brazil's 3-0 thumping of Argentina last October in the COMMEBOL world cup qualifiers.
So, a few weeks ago, Neymar da Silva Junior went off script, by signing for Paris St. Germain for a world record 200 million pounds!. BARCELONA, accustomed to taking players from others rather than losing them, is throwing a temper tantrum. It has sued Neymar for breach of contract and wants 7.8 million pounds in damages, in addition to refusing to pay some of his resigning bonus.
BARCELONA deserves some sympathy in regards to Neymar since their President, Sandro Rosell had to resign in connection with their signing of Neymar from Santos in 2013. But the idea of Barcelona complaining about their player being poached is hillarious. BARCELONA and Real Madrid are the poster boys for poaching with bullying.
Just this summer, they pried another Brazilian, Paulinho, from Guangzhou Evergrande amid loud protests from the Chinese club for 36.5 million pounds. They have just been rebuffed, for the third time, in an unprincipled attempt to acquire Coutinho from Liverpool. In the process, they got the player into a feud with Liverpool. So, Barcelona reminds me of the Akan proverb " He who cuts throats is afraid of falling asleep lest someone cuts his throat in sleep".
The practice of big clubs poaching players from smaller clubs is as old as sports. I am cheering PSG for making Barca feel the pain of smaller, poorer clubs who lose their players to giants like Barca, Real Madrid and Manchester United every year. Maybe, this poke in the eye will prompt the development of rules that will slow the run-away market for players. These rules should protect smaller clubs and fans in Africa and South America and require players to play at least half of their contracts before being sold. Meanwhile, Barca must stop whining about Neymar and move on. They are behaving like a jilted lover.
Let's play some football.