By Eric Krakauer
Tata Martino’s, heretofore, understated tenure at Barcelona came to a screeching halt this week, when he claimed that Gareth Bale’s reported transfer fee was “a lack of respect towards the world in general.”
The Argentine coach will get no argument from me. I wrote something very similar just a few weeks ago. Only, I’m not managing a club, whose players command “disrespectful” – to borrow his words, somewhat – wages, and for whom much money was also spent in the transfer market.
The irony wasn’t lost on Carlo Ancelotti – or on any semi-conscious human, for that matter – with the Italian commenting that he didn’t understand Martino’s comments, but that they probably stemmed from Argentine’s unfamiliarity with the European game (slightly more subtle irony).
Much has been said about Martino’s comments, with some believing that Barcelona’s new coach is beginning to stoke the fire that always burns between Spain’s two largest clubs.
That could very well be the case; however, it’s far more likely that Martino spoke without thinking, and stuck the proverbial foot in his mouth. After all, we always tend to ascribe standards to others, which we don’t live up to ourselves.
Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that Martino is correct, no matter how hypocritical he sounds. Transfer fees and wages are completely out of control, and while they are an insult to the average fan, they are also keeping him at home as a result of inflated ticket prices.
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