How much is too much for football transfers?
The Brazilian football star Neymar is leaving FC Barcelona to join Paris Saint-Germain for the record transfer fee of 222 million euros. While some commentators don't see this as a problem others condemn the tricks and profit-making mentality that predominate in football.
A clear case of supply and demand
All the fuss over the record transfer fee is incomprehensible, columnist Sean O'Grady writes in The Independent:
“The truth is there is no such thing as a 'fair wage'. The way to sort out what we all get paid, with the incidental benefit of creating an efficient market economy, is to allow the forces of supply and demand to determine it. ... If people want to pay to watch other people play football, and that means the footballers get silly money, well then it's no part of the state's role to stop them.”
Money wins out
Money rules in the world of professional sport, L'Echo comments resignedly:
“Football is nothing but a huge business. Either you accept the (non-existent) rules (and think twice before putting foot in a stadium or switching on the TV) or you look for something else to do. Alternatives to the principle of supply and demand? Other sports have tried them out. The result? Whether it's on the ice, on the tarmac or on the wooden floors of the NBA (the top-paying sports association in the world) - in 2017 it's money that wins out.”
The courts must prevent trickery
Der Standard sees Uefa's credibility in jeopardy:
“The European football association Uefa committed itself to financial fair play precisely to prevent such aberrations. According to these rules a club's transfer losses are limited to a maximum of 30 million euros for a three-year period. But because it will be impossible for Paris Saint-Germain, which is taking Neymar from FC Barcelona, to sell players worth more than 180 million euros, the Qatari owners of the Parisian club are paying Neymar such a handsome sum - officially as ambassador of the 2022 World Cup - that he can afford to buy his way out of the Catalan team. If Uefa lets Neymar and his advisors get away with this trick it will reduce itself to absurdity. Then the only hope will be that the tax authorities and courts intervene.”