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Chelsea and Real Madrid each get a taste of their own medicine


If you are a fan of seeing the rich and powerful take a tumble every now and then, you had to love Monday.

On a day when Chelsea was outspent, and Real Madrid was forced to give up one of its best players for a pile of cash, things just seemed right with the world.

Yes, Roman Abramovich was out-spent by somebody even more rich, but the new owners at Manchester City haven’t been around long enough for folks to hate. Abramovich certainly has been and fans from Manchester to London were laughing at the Blues as they watched Robinho head to Manchester City just days after Robinho Chelsea jerseys had gone on sale and Blues fans were penciling the Brazilian into their already loaded lineup.

The irony surrounding Robinho’s departure from Real Madrid was even more hilarious.

You might recall Ramon Calderon, Real Madrid’s arrogant president, going on and on about Cristiano Ronaldo and about how no team can or should keep an unhappy player. While Manchester United and Ronaldo didn’t seem to listen to those comments, Robinho certainly did and the emotional star decided that he didn’t like his future with the club being toyed with and asked for his release.

Suddenly Real Madrid, who was linked to so many moves, including a potential record-breaking bid for Ronaldo, have not only failed to land any superstars this summer (Rafael Van Der Vaart is a good player but not a world-best talent) but the club has also lost a very important player in Robinho. With Robinho gone, Wesley Sneidjer out with a knee injury and no new impact signings besides Van Der Vaart, Real Madrid suddenly looks to have taken a step back.

It is poll time. Which of these incidents brought you more joy?

What did you think of these incidents? Did you laugh at Chelsea? Did you get joy from imagining Roman Abramovich throwing a phone through a TV when he heard he was outbid by Manchester City? Did you think you would ever see the day when Real Madrid would be forced to sell one of its best players?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I love it when people try to defend Ramon Calderon. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside that people could be so delusional.

    The influx of new money presents an interesting paradox. On the one hand, it’s good for City because they’ll be able to compete financially with Man U and Chelski. On the other hand, it’s potentially ruinous for other teams and leagues, esp. if City’s new owners actually bid something absurd like 150 million pounds for CRonaldo. This warrants further study.

  2. I don’t know but I have always like Man Utd since the beginning. It was the first real EPL team that I ever saw and I like the red jersey so I connected with it the way I connected with Metro. But seeing how Man Utd went about not wanting to sell to Real and buying a player that was not for sell made me really upset with the team. I really feel with all the Spur fans right about now. Having to sell two players that were forced into the market by the Buyers is just nuts. I can’t see how Spurs can’t put a formal complaint and still look for a way to further get more what they lost in those two players.

  3. Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing for Real Madrid next season, there’s nothing that will stop that. Sir Alex clearly made a deal with CR7 to give him one more year at Man Yoo and then he’ll leave. But with Ronaldo sidelined until maybe November, Man Yoo will be out of the title chase by then. As anyone can objectively see this season already, Man Yoo are a very mediocre team (by Champions League standards) with our Ronaldo. Chelsea will win the EPL by January.

    And clearly if Real Madrid were forced to sell Robinho, they wanted to send him to a non-Champions League rival. And Robinho, be careful what you wish for or else you’ll end up on a lousy mid-table team. Good luck trying to win the Calder Cup.

  4. They will eventually be able to compete as all things go in cycles, and some day the robber barons will move on to other toys, leaving these ones bankrupt. (Like Leeds …)

  5. I can’t believe this take, Ives. Why should we be happy about Chelsea and Real Madrid getting a taste of their own medicine when it just means there is a new bully on the block that we will learn to hate? The EPL is just getting to be a topheavy league where 15 or 16 out of 20 can’t compete.

  6. I thought that Ronaldo did actually hear the comments and made it pretty clear he wanted to leave for Real, so I disagree Ives with your assessment there. You also have to say this for Calderon; he said that he didn’t believe in making players stay against their wishes and he let fulfilled Robinho’s wishes. Obviously they got paid handsomely, but I appreciate that he kept his word, which is rare in sports. Lastly, was Calderon being arrogant or just trying his best to procure the best player in the world for his team? It clearly backfired in the s-t although they got a bunch of cash to reinvest in other players and in the l-t they will end up w/Ronaldo playing in Madrid. So the story isn’t quite as bad as it may sound/appear.

    Can you tell I’m a RM fan?

  7. Ives,

    Money is changing the face of soccer. I don’t believe the talent is worth the money. I was wrong to not truly see the problem in years past. With the City taking over, it’s scary to see that money is endless. The Ronaldo saga, the astounding transfer fees, and the egos of these owners/club presidents are ruining soccer. The level and quality of soccer players and games have not increased to match the new price tags. It’s ridiculous; soccer is becoming strictly a business. It’s terrible for the league, the teams, the coaches, and the players. And it is most terrible for the fans. Increased ticket prices and image soccer. And of course for the poorest fans in the slums and shacks around the world, they must be disgusted at the monetary waste. I’m not a fan of Manchester United anymore; I bought into the club because of its image. Give me the small fish that play good soccer and at a reasonable cost.

  8. Ives,

    Actually, Calderon was consistent in his transfer dealings as he clearly knew his player didn’t want to be there any more and decided to let him leave (unlike ManU and Ronaldo). He could have let Robinho rot on the bench until January because he knew that Madrid weren’t going to be able to redeploy the sale proceeds this late in the game, but he still let him go.

    Sure, Calderon is no saint, but he did walk the walk when the same situation arose with his own player.

    I hate to lose Robinho, but with plenty of trips back to South America for WC qualifiers, his form and conditioning will likely not be optimal this season. Plus, this will free up some time for De La Red and Higuain which will help them continue to develop.

  9. Ed, good points, indeed. City spent a simply amazing pile of money this window, net I think it was 65m pounds. I’m not sure they have the worldwide fan base to make that good money spent.

    In their defense however, they’ll sell a lot of shirts this year. They will probably make one of the European competitions which will net them more money (at least 5 million pounds and up to 15). If it is a one time spree such as the one Chelsea went on and takes them from a 7th-10th place EPL side up to a top-5 side, it may be a good decision.

    We shall see.

  10. Not that any of this will change the overall outcome of the BPL. It will come down to Man U and Chelsea. I predict no change in the top 4, although Tottenham could make things interesting. Man City still looks like a long shot to me.

  11. I’ve come to expect this ridiculous overspending.

    It hurts me to say this, but United overspent worse on Berbatov than City did on Robinho. Nothing against Berbatov–he’s very good. But you will convince me Robinho is worth £30+ million LONG before you’ll convince me that Berbatov is.

  12. I voted for the new ownership at Citeh. Everyone likes to rip on Chelsea, but it’s not like Manchester United is a team filled with home grown talent they didn’t spend money on.

  13. Man City, if Robinho can adapt to the more physical BPL, might consider 61 million US to be a bargain. He’s young, he might just arguably be the best player in the BPL based on pure talent. He’s got Elano and Jo to help him settle in and lets not forget another Brazilian, Anderson, is crosstown so he might settle in quicker than most. Another reason I think the move happened was that during the Ronaldo transfer saga this summer, Robinho and his agent said repeatedly that he was just as good if not better than Ronaldo. I think he might, in the end, have moved to City not only because he was offered a boatload of money, but also so he could battle Ronaldo for king of the city

  14. Mig,

    Fair point. All businesses run some level of debt or they limit their ability to grow. I think the differnce is having a realistic plan to grow revenue, so that they investments in transfers (the major source of the debt) is menat to eventually grow revenue.

    The ADUG Exec said in interviews that he would like to see “marketing” ideas that will grow revenue, so he isn’t just the one funding the club over time. That’s the right approach, but appaerantly he didn’t let the details of how they would grow revenue get in the way of splashing ~$58M on Robinho and apparently tried to spend more on other bids. Not sure any sane company in the world where you can spend that type of money without a very detailed business case detailing where the revenue will come from.

  15. I agree with those that think Man City overspent. Torres at 26 million looks like the steal of the century by comparison, even if you disregard the eventual fantastic production in the Premier League and just look at what Liverpool may have been (rather than ended up) getting when they agreed the fee. There is just no way Robinho will be as influential.

  16. A.S., I can tell you that for the last two seasons, Chelsea have been with 10M pounds of net zero on their transfers. The highest spending club in the last two years in ManU or ‘Pool but I don’t have the figures.

    And I have looked a bit and can’t find any tallies for transfer monies over multiple seasons.


  17. I’m actually kind of bummed Chelsea lost out on Robinho. I think him at Chelsea would’ve provided some very exciting soccer. That is all i really care about.

  18. Have Chelsea overspent since the Sheva nightmare? I don’t think so, but that’s just my initial impression.

    Is there any website that tallies all transfers on a team-by-team basis, so one could, for example, see how much teams have paid and received for transfers over the last few years?

  19. I’m waiting for the day this oil money begins to run out. It may not even be so long in the future. Let’s see how long Abu Dhabi can last with Man City

  20. Ed Ho: ManU is in serious debt right now, albeit at favorable rates. Chelsea is technically in debt but it’s to their own owner at zero interest.

    I agree that nobody wants another Leeds but the Glazers, Abramovich, and ADUG are not exactly in a bind financially.

  21. How ’bout none of the above? Overspending. Strife. Silly movement. Etc.

    I’m actually happy for Chelsea that they don’t have Robinho to screw up the whole team. They can get Drogba and all the injured midfield back and they’ll be fine. Add an attacker at the January window, great.

    Berba will thrive at United, but I’m just tired of them getting anything they want.

    City? Less excited about the fifth big BPL club than I am worried about the expanding gap between rich and poor clubs. But they sure are gonna be playing some exciting attacking football.

    So maybe all of the above would be an okay answer?

  22. You need an “All of the above” option.

    Glad to see Chelski get smacked, Calderon have to eat his words and Man City have a chance to make it the Big 5

  23. I’m not sure why anyone thinks City overspending the way Chelsea did is a good thing. Real Madrid and Man U don’t overspend, they actually have the revenue streams to match. The issue with the health of football – and if you don’t beleive me, ask anyone in Europe – is that clubs drive themselves in debt and hurt the overall positon of all teams with inflated salaries and transfers. I think Germany already has a law against going too far in debt, and heard that rule was on the table in several other leagues because of this type of behavior.

  24. I think that for the last two seasons, Chelsea has refused to overpay for players. They refused to be hijacked for Alves last year, and the same happened with Robinho this year. The jersey thing was embarrassing but I don’t see how avoiding overpaying for Robinho as a per se embarrassment.

    Happy for City.

    Real Madrid kind of made a mess of the window and have put their manager in a tough spot this year. Then again, Barca didn’t do squat either besides clean house, and Villareal is already struck by the injury bug.

    Wild, wild Monday to be sure.

  25. rafeal van der vaart not one of the worlds top attacking talents, what anyone who starts in an attacking role for the dutch is world class, sneidjer, robben, van persie, van nistelroy, huntelaar doesn’t even start and he is one of the top strikers in the world. maybe i’m missing something but pretty much all European journalists would call van der vaart one of the worlds best. this is blasphemous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. It does a heart good to see Real get a taste of their own medicine.

    The fact the Ronaldinho did to Real what Ronaldo refused to do to Man U was awesome.

    Mr. Calderon said he did not know what drove Ronaldinho to do this…Sir, its respect, you had none for your player so he wanted out!!!


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