Writer: Mike Field
Date:Monday July 14 2008
The question on everybodies lips since he first got the job was, 'could Sepp Blatter be anymore of a comedian?'
A month on month he has proved us right. Only very rarely has a sentance come out of this chap's mouth that made sense, or seemed in anyway geared to help the game. The rest has been unadulterated wibble, although I'm sure some of the lads loved his comments about women's football!
The latest wibble from the Fifa president (hmmmm president, we should get him together with Dubya and they can form a double act) concern his warped belief that transfer negotiations are akin to 'modern slavery' and he was talking specifically about the Christiano Ronaldo situation - but it's not hard to see how it passes to our own situation with Gareth Barry.
Blatter obviously misunderstands not only the ethical and moral, but legal meaning of the word 'contract'. Bet he'd be peeved if Fifa decided to tear his up though without honouring his many millions in 'golden handshake' conditions.
Martin O'Neill has obviously rubbished this latest wibble and in time honoured fashion, made his point in far fewer words than me.
'I think it was pretty poor fare really because if the quotes attributed to him were that Ronaldo should be allowed to leave if he wants to, well it's quite incredible really.
'So a contract's not worth anything? Well, we kind of know that anyway in a sort of cynical manner.
'But I've never seen too many players coming in with serious injuries and facing a long lay-off and saying: 'I know, I think that because I won't be playing any football now for you for the foreseeable future, you should really tear my contract up and not pay me until I get fit again'.
'So it is an amazing comment coming from Mr Blatter, really amazing because, despite what he says, contracts are there, they are drawn up in the first place so that you hope that people would abide with them and, yes it has got serious connotations.
'I must admit it's a pretty bold statement and one that wouldn't have gone down too well certainly at club level when you are trying to hold onto your players.'
And therein lies the point, IF players wish to have the freedom of normal employment rules where contracts aren't time honoured and you need just abide by 30 days notice, or whatever you agree with the employer then they need to forgo the millions of 'contract compensation' when a club willingly sells, or their signing on fees.
Not sure many players would agree with Blatter if he suggested that though. Then again, not even he'd be that stupid would he.
Date:Monday July 14 2008
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