Mystic Weg, also known as Arsene Wenger, has predicted that football will see the death of mega transfer fees as players auction themselves as free agents instead of being sold.
Predicting that his side could go unbeaten in the Premier League, that we would soon see the first £200m player and hundreds of other things in between, Mystic Weg’s latest prophecy would see the football world move closer to the real job market, in action if not necessarily salary level.
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the Community Shield game against Chelsea, Wenger first brought up the idea: “Because the transfers are so high, you will see more and more players going into the final year of the contract because no club will want to pay the amount demanded. I’m convinced, in the next 10 years, it will become usual.”
Although Wenger has been in England for decades, the level of insight that he has in the game is still not really appreciated.
In fact, in a Mirror article on this subject, Brian Reade asked, “So, have his marbles gone or is a man we used to hail as a visionary simply foretelling the inevitable conclusion of Bosman?”
The reasonable answer to that would be ‘neither you useless redtop f**kwit’. I hate people who present you with two options like this, both skewed to serve their obvious and pathetic agenda.
What Wenger is saying makes sense. Why should a club receive a transfer fee for a player? When you move job, it’s likely that the new company doesn’t have to pay a penny to the old. There will be a period of notice that you have to work, and for which you will still be paid, and then you move.
Why shouldn’t footballers pocket the money that would otherwise go to clubs?
What it is also likely to mean is that smaller clubs will struggle without being able to generate big fees for players they have developed and fans will have to pay out more to make up any shortfall as people who kick a ball for a living collect ever-increasing salaries.
Wenger has doubled down on those pre-season comments, adding this week, “This season, there were 107 players in the Premier League who got into the final year (not all at Arsenal despite what the press would have you believe) of their contract and you will see that more. The clubs want too much money for normal players.
“They say that if one player is worth £200m [like Neymar], then this player is worth £50m. But everybody knows for that player £50m is too much and they cannot afford it. So what happens? The club cannot sell and doesn’t extend the contract, so more and more players are going into the final year of their contract.
“Something will happen,” he continued. “For the first time, on the political front, the German prime minister has come out and, also, the president of Uefa has come out. I think, politically, something will happen in the next 12 months to regulate and limit the transfer amounts.
“You have to go one of two ways – regulate it properly or leave it completely open. You cannot be in between and that is where we are at the moment. It is only to the advantage of some clubs who can deal with the [financial fair play] rules in a legal way.
“The regulation has to be stricter and clearer, or open the market completely and you can do what you want provided you can guarantee you have the money to pay.
“At the moment, we are a bit in between and that does not work.”
‘Arsene knows’ may not carry the same weight today as it did during his first decade at the club, but when it comes to reading how the game is developing off the pitch, few would be advised to argue with him.
Where football goes after that, he hasn’t yet revealed, but you can be sure of one thing – wherever it is, it will be more expensive for us, the fans, when we get there.