Blogs & Opinion


The true cost of Kaka

Milan could be real winners, says Andy

Manchester City Posted 16th January 2009 view comments

If Manchester City's pursuit of Kaka suggests one thing it is that football is losing touch with the real world and the genuine supporter.

Don't get me wrong. I am excited as anyone about the prospect of seeing the Brazilian in the Premier League BUT it has to be for the right reasons and at a sensible price of 50m-60m.

I think the powers that be at Manchester City are setting a dangerous precedent and one that leaves our game in an unhealthy state.

Kaka: why leave Milan?

Kaka: why leave Milan?

Ask yourself why Kaka wants to join Manchester City. Now, I have no doubts about the young man; he's a wonderful person, from what I know, a moral man in a sometimes immoral game.

But it is going to take City three or four years at best to challenge the elite and is he really prepared to leave a club like AC Milan to do that? It can only be for one thing and that is money. Why would he want to join a club in the bottom half of the league that is struggling this season? No, it's certainly not a footballing decision.

Foundation

It concerns me greatly when people think they can buy success; the key to building a side is togetherness, team spirit, going that extra yard, hunger, desire.

When the owners of the club decide they don't want to be there anymore they take everything with them. Where does that leave our game? I would say pretty much in a mess.

Andy Gray
Quotes of the week

Just look at the 'Galaticos' period at Real Madrid, which was far from trophy-laden. That was a side that performed in big games but did not have the basis to deliver week in, week out.

It's alright saying 'here's Kaka, here's Robinho' but you have to have a backbone to your side that you can rely on, one that is prepared to perform in the league and not just on big Champion League nights.

Kevin Keegan spent 100m and didn't achieve it at Newcastle, while David Leary spent 100m and didn't do it at Leeds at a time when that was an amazing amount of money.

People always look at Jose Mourinho and say he managed it at Chelsea. No, he didn't! They forget that Claudio Ranieri finished second in the league the year prior to his arrival so there was a basis and a logical progression.

Mourinho didn't change players like Frank Lampard or John Terry, he added good players to his squad. They had a basis to go from - I don't know where City's is or, for that matter, where they are going to get it from the way this is going.

Mess

If you build a house, or football club, on quicksand it will sink. When the owners of the club decide they don't want to be there anymore they take everything with them. Where does that leave our game? I would say pretty much in a mess.

I'd love to know what Mark Hughes' thoughts are. At one moment he'll be waking up thinking 'I can't believe this is happening to me' and in other ways he has been handed a poisoned chalice. People will say 'you are getting all this money so if you don't win the League in the next couple of years you should be sacked'.

You'd think stopping goals going in would be a priority for them after all that's what great teams base their success on. Until they defend better it doesn't matter how many goals Kaka or Robinho score for them; City are going to struggle to be taken seriously.

Moreover, you can bet Kaka will have clauses written into his contract that will allow him to get out of Manchester City if things don't go his way like 'if Robinho goes, I go'. That's someone who is committing themselves to a massive deal not a football club.

Factor in his wages and this deal could cost City 150m. Will that cause disharmony in the dressing room? If I was a City player who was happy with my lot and knew Kaka was coming, then I would be delighted. But there is absolutely no doubt that a lot of players will think 'if you are getting that, I deserve this'. That in itself may cause the club more problems.

Potential

The real winners here could be Milan. Whatever they say about wanting to keep Kaka may be correct, but I guarantee you that for 100m they can also see the potential to build a whole new team and establish a new set-up with strong foundations.

They have the chance to change an ageing side around simply by selling one player. It does not make absolutely any sense at all for them not to take this deal.

Comments (114)

Christopher Lynch (Liverpool fan) says...

Madness, this deal. But I think the problem is a lot of people are worried about City becomming a top 4 team - they won't. Chelsea already had good foundations and good players by the time Jose arrived, and they bought different players. When they finally got a Galactico type player in Shevchenko it blew it in their faces and created massive problems. Same with Ballacks wages at the mo, which aren't affected by tax. City won't make the top 4. All they will do is foolishly awake the sleeping giant that is AC MIlan, a club in decline who NEED to rebuild an ageing squad that has little more to give. They have Pato as a developing talent, but they need other playewrs and the sale of Kak will be an injection of life into their veins - in essence, Cty will be making it HARDER for themselves to eventually win the CL. :D 'Danger of paying inflated sums? You fund your rivals. No one player is bigger than the club.

Posted 16:13 19th January 2009

Ali Holmes (Chelsea fan) says...

Andy is totally on the ball. It is very worrying that a club is willing to break the world transfer record by more than double, (Zidane being 47m or something similar). Chelsea did buy the title but they achieved champions league qualification before the money came and already had a strong foundation of players who still remain at the club today i.e. terry and lampard. the most they have spent on a single player in the 5-6 years of abramovich was 32m on Shevchenko. What we are talking about a much bigger spendthrift than even chelsea were/are. Man City have got their priorities completely wrong. When you come into money you need to build slowly but still spend. Loads of new players will upset the balance and Kaka wages could result in dressing room disharmony. These Arabs are merely trying to prove to the western world they have deep pockets and are on a massive ego trip in the country that invented the game. Kaka, come to City when they are a big enough club to sign you, however anyone would have to be stupid to turn down that offer!

Posted 23:35 18th January 2009

Jefferson Kibble (West Ham United fan) says...

Okay. i think that this is ridiculous! why on earth would a player of Kaka's standard want to join a club such as Man City. No offence all you fans out there, but you have two players playing well for you, Robinho and Ireland. And that shows your terrible position in the table! Kaka as an intelligent player will realise that and probably fail to agree on personal terms. You may be the richest club in the world, but your high expectations are certainly not happening at the moment, are they? So, Andy Gray i think you have done a great article because you are pointing out thetruth which these City fans cant seem to realise.

Posted 20:22 18th January 2009

Ian R (Liverpool fan) says...

Andy says players will resent the amount of money Kaka wil be paid in the Man City squad I disagree. My feelings on the amount of cash footballer's are paid is to compare them to Hollywood actors they can earn 15 million for just one film footballers are entertaining fans just like an actor entertains the audience of the film. Only the star of the film can command such a fee and this is what Kaka will be other players cannot complain untill they have achived what he has like being voted world player of year 2007.

Posted 19:37 18th January 2009

Dave Bridge (Manchester City fan) says...

If Kaka was up for sale for 30 million, United would buy him If it it was 40 million, Chelsea would buy him If it was 50 million it would be Barcelona 60-80 million here comes Real Madrid Yes, it is obscene but so is 30 million, if you need to attract the best you have to pay for it.

Posted 18:56 18th January 2009

Daniel Fitzhenry (Manchester United fan) says...

Even the most deluded City fans must be a little bit concerned. Yes it seems on the face of it that they're the luckiest (as well as the richest) team in the world, but there is no doubt that offering this kind of money for one player, particularly while the rest of the country is in economic crisis, will be the ruining of football. Yes Kaka is without a doubt one of the best players in the world, but he would be joining a team that are in a very real relegation fight, and what if they paid all that money and he was to get injured? Pocket money it may be to the Abu Dhabi group but the figures they are talking about paying Milan dwarf the entire economy of some African countries! City fans may think that success is coming to them, but the red half of Manchester have always done it the right way, building for the future, and while we are one of the richest clubs in the world we have a rich history that real City fans would definitely prefer. It's obvious that Kaka would only be moving for the money, and he has already said that he would prefer to play for United or Arsenal, and as a United fan I wouldn't want a player at my club who didn't really want to be there. If he is to move to Middle Eastlands he would potentially take Stephen Ireland's place in the team, who so far has been their best player, and he certainly seems to be loyal to the club. I almost hope that Kaka does move, as it would be great to see him in the best league in the world, but I genuinely believe that the move would cause real problems in the dressing room for City. Wouldn't that be a shame?

Posted 16:55 18th January 2009

Sticky Mike (Arsenal fan) says...

I'm glad that on this one, there's finally a good number of people who share my opinion, and what more can I ask for if Andy Gray is one of them? My team may not have won any trophies in a while now, but remain one of the teams in the world who have that sporting mentality instilled in the players on a day-to-day basis. It's always 2things, money or trophies and very few teams like Man U have had a fair mix of both. Kaka's transfer has very little to do with the player because at this state, Milan will be crazy to turn down 100 for a player who's given them his all already, given the average age of the players they have. Good example, unlike Real Madrid, Barcelona have built teams that play good football at a relatively lower cost. To be honest, even if Kaka didn't want to leave, and I was Galliani, I'd leave him no choice, but to rejuvenate my squad. This destroys the atmosphere at Man City because the Robinho's and Kaka's will give what they can, but the pressure will be on the others like Benjani and Vassell who know at any time, they'd be nothing more than liabilities who are replaceable with the snap of a finger! It's interesting to see that quality of players in the league, but in the long run every team that has used the financial approach has yielded nothing. Madrid can confirm that they saw their first league trophy in years only when they got rid of the big money syndrome players. I can guarantee you that if Real sign Ronaldo, he doesn't guarantee them the champions league which is what has eluded them this decade. City fans, hang in there or you might only afford to watch your team on skysports 1!

Posted 14:59 18th January 2009

Matt Millard (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan) says...

I really don't see the problem with all of this. Ok 110 million is a lot of money to spend on a player and personally I think it is stupidly overinflated. But surely no-one is worth 1million really. However Man City would like to sign one of the top 3 players in the world - and to do that they are obviously going to have to pay over the odds. Milan don't want to sell him and don't really need to so what do you expect? And obviously the money they spend isn't only for playing potential - they will make loads of money from shirt sales of fans who used to be Chelsea / Man Utd fans, not to mention the increase in money from media / sponsorship / ticket sales they will undoubtedly get. Personally I'm looking forward to seeing players of Kakas pedigree in the Premier League, and also hope that in the next couple of years we might have regular 6 way fights for Champions League places if Villa and Man City can compete. In addition - Andy Gray states it worked at Chelsea because of the backbone they already had in place in Terry and Lampard. Not entirely true - Terry was undoubtedly brilliant, but not until the millions bought in great players to surround him did Lampard develop into the world class player he is now - and who's to say the same won't happen at city. Last season Micah Richards was the "new JT" according to so many people, and IMO opinion Stephen Ireland is as good if not better than Lampard in the pre-Abramovich era. I can see City emulating Chelsea quite well - they have just set their sights higher a little earlier by getting the big name signing early - instead of establishing themselves before they buy Ballack / Shevchenko

Posted 14:09 18th January 2009

Hayden Daniels (Manchester United fan) says...

I want Manchester City to buy Buffon, Kaka, Terry, Lampard, Benzema, Messi. It'd be great to see a fantasy football team created because thats all what it is FANTASY. The best ingredients don't neccesarily combine together to create the best dish as the best players don't neccesarily combine together to create the best team. Andy Gray is completely right in what he is saying. You need a team with the grit and determination, the heart and soul firmly in the clubs interest. If not you have a team that looks great on paper but if you don't truly have the club firmly in your heart you won't be able to grind out results and thats what makes champions. Manchester City want to create a fantasy team and i am going to enjoy watching it. The people in the board room don't know anything about football. They simply think putting the worlds best together will make them unbeatable. How laughable. In ten years time Sam Alladyce on his shoe string budget would of done alot more than city will do in 10 years. The media attention will dry up, the players will become deluded and city will fade away and become one of the greatest football stories of all time. I can't wait to watch the channel 5 documentry What happened to Manchester City?. I can't wait. If anybody couldn't believe what happened to leeds united, then i can't wait for this. Please join kaka its going to be so funny.

Posted 13:02 18th January 2009

Mark Ford (Northampton Town fan) says...

The sum of 100 million is only a vast amount of money to pay for one player if you dont have it and city,s owners clearly do !, in fact its like taking a tea spoon of water out of an olympic size swimming pool to them, nothing , proberbly not even a days takings at the pumps !! How can it inflate the prices of players that city are not interested in ? if no other team can afford them prices ?? surely only city will be paying over the odds, The problem AG and the fans of the sky4 have is that ,city could end up having the first choice of signing any super star,, and they dont like it, infact i have never heard so many negetive remarks from so many green eyed monster,s at once ! The people spouting you could buy 4 or 5 players in more needy positions for that sort of money, who says they aint gonna do that also ? You cant buy sucess ,,what about Blackburn , unlike chelsea they never finished second before coming into money ,and i suppose shearer signed for them because he wanted to play for a club steeped in history !! Good luck City and your fans,, wish you all the best , about time someone gate crashed the ol boys club and if anybody is about to do it you lot deserve it more than anyone !!

Posted 08:26 18th January 2009

Krishnan Iyer (Manchester United fan) says...

wonderful article.... "They forget that Claudio Ranieri finished second in the league the year prior to his arrival so there was a basis and a logical progression." the most important point... i have the highest amount of respect for kaka as a human being...he has been very loyal to milan rejecting tempting offers earlier...but if he does join city...it would certainly show he is after all greedy too ! chelsea were goin on a similar track but i think they have realised that it is not the right path in terms of long term stability...and are correcting themselves now... i really don't care whom city sign...the might sign 11 star players perhaps by summer...i'm sure though that money can't buy success...n i hope it stays that way too...cuz otherwise football will be known as "the MONEY game" rather than the beautiful game...

Posted 18:44 17th January 2009

Russ H (Manchester United fan) says...

This may sound daft but if I were Mark Hughes i'd want to get out of Man City straight away. In the cuurent situation, that club is a loaded gun waiting to go off at any minute. I thought the 48 million Real paid for Zidane was daft enough but 107 million and 500,000 a week is madness. I feel sorry for Kaka the most because how on earth can AC Milan refuse sell him at that price. Even if he wanted to stay I don't think he'd be allowed to which is a great shame. Money is part of the key to football yes, but so is passion, motivation and team spirit. Man City players won't have any of that. Abramovich came, tried and to be honest hasn't had a great return for his money. I can't see Man City's fortunes fairing any better even with Kaka, Cassilas, Robinho, Messi etc so its about time Fifa and Blatter pulled their finger out and put some salary caps on football, there might be a better way but something has to be done, its going to get stupid and the game will lose all credibility.

Posted 18:42 17th January 2009

Alexander Pearson (Manchester United fan) says...

I think Andy Gray is 100% correct. I also agree with some of the other comments. Perhaps a wage cap would be a good thing to introduce into football. However, if a team can generate the money to pay a high amount for players wages, they should be allowed. Wenger said that all other clubs use sponsorship, money from the gates and TV money, whereas a club such as City are using external money just pumped into their club like water. I think a rule about using the earnings of a person or Sheikh in City's case, to provide wages and transfer money should be banned or kept to a limit per transfer (20M from the Sheikh and the rest provided by the club). That money should then come from Sponsorships, Money from the gates and TV money. However this could create an even bigger gap between the top clubs and all the other clubs. If this happens to more clubs, football won't be about the love of the game, it'll spoil it for the rest of the world. And as for the billionaires, they'll drop the club like a bomb if anything goes tits up. Leaving city in complete turmoil and spoiling the club. Like Leeds, inly much worse.

Posted 18:34 17th January 2009

Alexander Pearson (Manchester United fan) says...

I think Andy Gray is 100% correct. I also agree with some of the other comments. Perhaps a wage cap would be a good thing to introduce into football. However, if a team can generate the money to pay a high amount for players wages, they should be allowed. Wenger said that all other clubs use sponsorship, money from the gates and TV money, whereas a club such as City are using external money just pumped into their club like water. I think a rule about using the earnings of a person or Sheikh in City's case, to provide wages and transfer money should be banned or kept to a limit per transfer (20M from the Sheikh and the rest provided by the club). That money should then come from Sponsorships, Money from the gates and TV money. However this could create an even bigger gap between the top clubs and all the other clubs. If this happens to more clubs, football won't be about the love of the game, it'll spoil it for the rest of the world. And as for the billionaires, they'll drop the club like a bomb if anything goes tits up. Leaving city in complete turmoil and spoiling the club. Like Leeds, inly much worse.

Posted 18:32 17th January 2009

John Batley (Carlisle United fan) says...

We live in a greed obsessed profit driven society in which capitalism is the instrument which plays the tune. Once, big business was the domain wherein capitalism spun its magic tricks and then soccer was more a sporting occasion than part of the business racket. Sadly or happily, depending upon how you look at it, soccer has descended to the poorer values of greed and profit for owners and shareholders and is less concerned than it ever was about sporting values.Those whose hard earned cash built the game decades ago can't afford to go see a game today.Whoever and whatever can be employed to increase the monetary worth of a football club will be.That's why David Beckham is so valued. He's able to increase the commercial success of clubs massively. Yet it's more for his good looks than for his soccer prowess. Yes he was a reasonably good soccer player, whatever that's worth to society, but he was hardly a great one. He could not dribble, he could not tackle and he wasn't that speedy. If Kaka (who is immeasurably a better player than Beckham was in a month of Sundays) can bring monetary profit to Man City by improving the club's commercial potential either simply by being at the club or by helping the performances on the field that ensure success (in the form of profit off the field) then the outlay will have been deemed to be worthwhile. And so, young men like Wayne Rooney who wouldn't otherwise be thought about twice for any other contribution to society will continue to be valued as someone special because he can help make profits for greedy entrepeneurs whereas the truly great artists of years gone by such as Mathews, Mortenson, Haynes, Moore, Buchan, Busby were valued more for their standards of behaviour and for being one of the people not one of the unseen, untouchable soccer royalty who feel because they can play a child's game better than most others, it means they are superior beings.

Posted 18:25 17th January 2009

Sam Court (Birmingham City fan) says...

As everyone knows money does not always buy you success. Andy's point about Chelsea and how they already had a solid foundation on which to build on is very true they just added the players they needed at the time. If you look at the Liverpool side in 2005 they didnt spend amazing amounts of money and yes they finished 5th in the league but they won the biggest club competition on Earth due to an amazing team spirit and understanding between each player. Clubs like Everton and (even though it hurts me to say) Aston Villa have built foundations and are reaping the rewards of sticking wih players that have served the club so well. I guarantee that Villa and Everton will more more trophies in the next 3-4 years than Man City will in the next 10 because all the money in the world cannot buy you team spirit and togetherness I am sure Kaka has absoloutly no intention of joining Man City but I think his hand is being seriously forced into going there. AC Milan must be laughing all the way to the bank because I certainly would be for a 26 year old who is not even the best player in the world and not even the best player in the AC Milan side at the moment. HAve fun while it lasts Man City because it is not going to last for long.

Posted 18:20 17th January 2009

Mike Sherrington (Chelsea fan) says...

Andy Gray wrote an excellent article. On point throughout. This whole Man City deal doesn't strike me as a group of people really interested in Man City football. To me it's about them. They're out to show the world their opulence. It's like short-man syndrome or something. I don't think it will destroy the game or anything. I think it will make the EPL even stronger and more competitive. But in the end, as Gray suggested, when those guys pull out - for whatever reason, it's going to leave Man City in a huge crisis unless some other billionaire takes over and bails them out. They're spending way beyond the club's means. They don't even have enough money to pay the player wages by themselves. At least at Chelsea they are trying make it a profitible business--something sustainable even when Roman is gone. They're not going to be in ruin if their owner leaves as Man City will be the way they're going.

Posted 14:19 17th January 2009

Phil Vasey (Manchester United fan) says...

Manchester City fans are saying we're all jealous. We're not. It's a stupid amount to pay for a player, which will ruin world football. Sir Alex didn't cherry pick as he saw fit, he used exceptional man management skills to bring the best to OT. Maybe we'll all be jealous of City if they ever deliver on their promise to take silverware to Eastlands. Robinho couldn't do it, neither will Kaka. Enjoy the bottom of the league.

Posted 14:11 17th January 2009

John Beavis (Manchester United fan) says...

This is the daftest thing I have EVER heard!! Mark Hughes - nil respect - you're a joke!! Man City fans - give back your season tickets and get some sanity back at your club! NO ONE should be able to do this to football. No one. It is becoming a plaything for rich boys with no brains. As a passionate fan it no longer belongs to me and I am disgusted by the entire spectacle. Transfer windows should be capped to give fairness to all - Hull City, Darlington and everyone else! In summer EVERY club has a ceiling of 50m to spend and that's it. The rest of the fee has to be made up with player trades, but only up to 2 players per deal. In January the cap is 25m for every club no matter who they are. Then we may see some sanity prevail and the game become a "levelish" playing field where money no longer talks loudest, but skilful bartering and trading makes every club a serious honours contender. What we've got now is a power game, brokered by idiots and Man City are firmly at the top of the pile - without a contender anywhere in sight. Laughable. Truly laughable ... but not to the bloke who earns a measly 12k A YEAR and gives his hard earned up to support the side he's loved since he was boy. Where does ho go now? Because prices will go up to pay for the club's stupidity. That's the thing about stupidity. Once it is out of the bottle you can't just put it back. Enjoy your "glorious moment" City - because it won't last!!!!

Posted 14:09 17th January 2009

Mike Ryan (Manchester United fan) says...

Good luck to City, well only enough for them to come 2nd. Fans shouldn't compare what united have done, they have spent money over the years by having a great business model that has generated millions of pounds of profits , now you have sugar daddys coming in to buy these clubs and throw billions at them, it takes a team to win trophies, not individuals, I think if kaka is at city it's great for English premier league, I am sure they will buy more superstars as well but I stil believe United will win more trophies than anyone over the next 10 years as they have the last 10 because its a well run stable club steeped in history.

Posted 14:07 17th January 2009

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce deserves a mention when this year's managerial awards are handed out, says Carra....

Peter Beagrie

An Easter feast

Beags previews the cracking Easter action in the Championship, including games for the top three....

Martin Tyler

Goal crazy

When did Liverpool last score three without Suarez and Sturridge netting? Martin Tyler has the stats......

0 comments

Latest News RSS feeds

Mata: United future is bright

Juan Mata is confident Man United will have a successful future under David Moyes, but says everyone must pull together.

Cardiff have faith in process

Cardiff say they have "every faith" that their official complaint to the Premier League will receive a fair hearing.

Good Friday Ups and downs

Sky Sports' guide to the promotion and relegation issues in English and Scottish football this Good Friday.

Hodgson looking to stop Pirlo

Roy Hodgson admits Andrea Pirlo is the main threat when England take on Italy in their World Cup opener in Brazil.

Roberto: United always special

Roberto Martinez expects Everton fans to give former manager David Moyes a warm reception at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Features

Welcome back?

Welcome back?

David Moyes could be in for a mixed reception when he returns to Goodison, writes Vinny O'Connor.

Luis on Liverpool

Luis on Liverpool

We catch up with Reds cult hero Luis Garcia ahead of his Anfield return on Easter Monday.

Race for the title

Race for the title

Amid the current, epic title race, relive the classic 1997/98 battle between Arsenal and Man Utd.