Friday, 12 June 2009

What credit crunch?

So the football season is over, and everyone can now focus on their summer sports of choice; cricket, perhaps, while the ashes is on, punctuated, of course, by those two weeks in summer when everyone is a tennis fan. Or for those who prefer a little more meat on the bone, the Lions tour of South Africa, maybe. Although that said, scouring the tabloid back pages, sport websites or free London papers over the last week or so, it strikes home that maybe Football isn't ready to slope off for a few weeks and give us all a rest after all, maybe Football, like the brash, ostentatious, joyless braggart it is wants to flash all its cash in the rest of the world's face. Just days after the Kaka deal was announced as a new world record transfer, Real Madrid seem likely to break their own record (or five) by signing the anti-troubled striker himself, Christiano Ronaldo for a rumoured £80 million.
The truth of global capitalism's moral vacuum is absolute, and in a sense that is where its fairness is deemed to lie; the world is a market place, and free trade allows any commodity to be bought or sold (as long as America says so) for its market value, but surely the money bandied about in what are just two grotesque transfer fees leaves a decidedly sour taste. In fact the taste left is that of vomit.
Watching the Champions League final a few weeks ago, watching Xavi, Iniesta and Messi waltzing around Manchester United's players in triangles of elegant simplicity; pass, move, receive. The simplest, most humble display of domination. It seemed almost in keeping with the tradition of a more noble club, one that still shows at least vestiges of humility and a sense of decency. The cynical will snort at that last sentence, and maybe Barcelona's good-guy image is borne out of the mere lip-service paid by having Unicef on your shirt, but as Real announced their transfers this week, the value of Messi et al seemed all the more pertinent. Combined transfer fees for Messi, Xavi and Iniesta? Hmmmm.