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Winners & Losers
by Paul Kennedy, September 1st, 2011 12:31AM

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TAGS:  england, italy, russia, soccer business, spain

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[TRANSFER WATCH] The European transfer deadline came and went with a flurry of activity but no stunning move on the final day before the window closed. Luka Modric will remain at Tottenham. Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder will also stay put for now. The influence of billionaire tycoons was very much evident, making Samuel Eto'o and Samir Nasri very rich men. For all the winners and losers on the summer transfer market ...

WINNERS:

SAMUEL ETO'O. The Cameroonian says money isn't important, but he will earn $14.2 million a year for the three-year deal he signed with Russian club Anzhi Makhachkal. Eto'o has already played his first game for Anzhi Makhachkal -- on the road -- but has yet to go to Makhachkal, located in the republic of Dagestan, in the Caucasus. Anzhi players live and train outside Moscow -- for security reasons -- and travel to Makhachkala for home games. Distance between Moscow and Makhachkala: 1,000 miles, or two hours, 20 minutes by plane.

INTER MILAN. Anzhi's offer of $36 million for Eto'o was just too good to pass up. Inter spent $7.3 on Uruguayan Diego Forlan (coming off a disappointing season at Atletico Madrid) and will use the rest to pay down its debt with an eye on the UEFA-mandated reforms requiring clubs to balance its books.

SAMIR NASRI. The 24-year-old Frenchman hit the jackpot with his move to Manchester City. He'll earn $14.7 million a year, double his salary with the Gunners. "It's part of the modern life of a professional football player," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger of the move. "It's not by coincidence that everybody suddenly lands at Man City." Not all his former Arsenal teammates were happy for Nasri. "Money is the root of all evil," tweeted Emmanuel Frimpong.

MALAGA. With interests in hotel chains, shopping centers, cell phone companies and car dealerships, Sheikh Abdullah al Thani, a member of the Qatari royal family, has expanded into soccer, buying Spanish club Malaga for $50 million and going on a spending spree. Among the players signed were Spanish internationals Santi Cazorla and Joaquin, French midfielder midfielder Jeremy Toulalan and veteran Dutchman Ruud van Nistelrooy.

LOSERS:

ARSENAL. In recent days, the Gunners have acquired Spaniard Mikel Arteta (Everton), German Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Brazilian Andre Santos (Fenerbahce), Park Chu-Young (Monaco) and Yossi Benayoun (on loan from Chelsea), but it won't begin to repair the psychological damage of losing Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona (finally) and Nasri and then going to Old Trafford and getting humiliated, 8-2

LUKA MODRIC. The Croatian midfielder did not hide his desire to leave Tottenham for Chelsea, but Spurs chairman Daniel Levy wouldn't budge. He turned down 60 million pounds -- $97 million -- for Modric, surprising even Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp. "It is a big offer to turn down, that's for sure," he said. "I am delighted the little man is still here and hopefully he will have a great season for us." How Modric takes the rebuff remains to be seen. He accused Levy of going back on agreement  to let him move if a big enough offer came in.

WESLEY SNEIJDER. The Dutchman didn't get his wish of a move to Manchester United, meaning he'll stay at Inter Milan for another season. Reports that Sneijder was at Old Trafford for medical tests proved to be bogus.



5 comments
  1. Amos Annan
    commented on: September 1, 2011 at 9:04 a.m.
    Every soccer fan should be against this ridiculous system where money is more important than anything else. Soccer should return to more restrictions on foreign players and limit the money being spent. It is becoming a game for Billionairs, and not the fans.

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: September 1, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.
    Say what you will about MLS and it's salary cap But it saved the league and is setting up nicely for the day when the euro leagues collapse except for a superleague, which is inevitable. Watch the Tv money leave England and Spain for the super league and MLS will be a nice option for players that dont want to play for stoke city or Santander The good ole USA and it's socialist salary caps, social security and medicare is what's gonna make you a happy old man/woman

  1. Eric in DC
    commented on: September 1, 2011 at 11:46 a.m.
    I don't know how Arsenal could be considered losers in this. Most of these signees-Mertesacker's a good example-were kept track of for a long time. The team spent probably less that 50 million, and added infinately more knowledge and experience in those 48 hours. I agree that MLS's salary cap keeps the teams more honest. Parity is a good thing, although MLS need to continue to raise the cap and do away with DPs at some point. MLS also need to address the ridiculously large number of draws that we're seeing! Vamos United!

  1. Kyr-Roger St.-Denis
    commented on: September 1, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
    I agree with Eric Ruenes: Wenger has demonstrated how to keep his head in the feeding frenzy of the transfer window, he has gotten top dollar for two players who wanted to go, he has kept his club solvent and still competitive in the most competitive league in the world. Trophies are nice, certainly, but Arsenal's owners, and its manager, know that trophies are just things for the media and fans to point at as proof of success, while the real proof of success is the income from the club to its owners or shareholders. I suspect that Arsenal's shareholders are making a whole lot more than Man Utd's, and in the end -- after Man Utd has floated its ludicrous Singapore shares offering and collapsed under the dead weight of debt, as L'pool very nearly did -- that Arsenal will be a much more valuable club, and it eventually will be sold to yet another foolish oil-billionaire who hasn't yet seen the forthcoming collapse in value of football clubs. Yes, Mr Sirias is right, there will be a paring-down of clubs in the not-too-distant future, as TV rights bidders refuse to bid for packages that include too many 8th-place-vs-11th-place matches. The top clubs from across Europe will move into a true European League, and abandon the relegation-and-promotion system, and it will be that league that everyone will want to watch; that, and the local clubs, which, as he observed, will no longer be able to sustain the moderately high salaries being paid to second- and third-tier players.

  1. Raveen Rama
    commented on: September 1, 2011 at 2:50 p.m.
    Money is not the root of all evil, it is the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil! I also think that there should be a salary cap so that all teams can have the opportunity to have the players who want to play for them for the love of soccer, not for money. Having said that I know everyone wants to earn as much money as possible but this influence of the billionairs is just too ridiculous. As for the article regarding Arsenal, suggesting that, "it won't begin to repair the psychological damage of losing Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona (finally) and Nasri and then going to Old Trafford and getting humiliated, 8-2", is a very negative and incorrect thought. I think Arsenal will come back and again be one of the top teams because of their system of play.


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