Why Gareth Bale’s transfer between Tottenham and Real Madrid perpetuates a dangerous precedent 5

Michel Platini

Michel Platini

On the surface, everybody got what they wanted from the Gareth Bale transfer: Real Madrid got their shiny new toy, Bale got the move of his dreams, and Tottenham got an enormous pile of cash.

Beyond that, though, this was just another chapter in the game’s sorry recent history, and another example of the sport being trampled over by a ‘big’ club.

Nobody in their right mind should have expected UEFA to make any kind of comment about the conduct which has characterised this affair, because Michel Platini and friends have long since been enthralled and intimidated by the size and political weight of the Spanish behemoth, but isn’t it rather disappointing that there’s been no response of any sort from the European game’s governing body?

Madrid stalked Bale through the Summer, and used every avenue possible to unsettle the player and create disharmony between him and his club. Does that not warrant a response? Expecting genuine sanctions is unrealistic, but is it not time that somebody from UEFA voiced concern over the manner in which some clubs are eroding away at the integrity of the transfer system?

If, for example, Real Madrid’s actions this Summer are deemed to be above board, then isn’t it time to ask why, and to ponder just how ridiculous that is?

Much like our own FA, UEFA are in the habit of continuously taking the path of least possible resistance on big issues - be it racism, simulation, or club conduct - and so it’s always wise to expect them to placate those clubs with enormous financial resources and multinational fan-bases, because that’s the smart route politically.

But why must it always be this way, and why must this lingering sense of disenfranchisement fester for supporters of non-elite clubs?

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