Wednesday Bullets: Miller, MLS All-Stars, Bedoya, More

Some Wednesday bullets. Go:

Cameron, played in the back--or where he belongs--by Backe tonight?

• As if Houston’s current plight wasn’t sickening enough to it’s fanbase…you know at some point, media folks beyond TSG are going to have to give him stick for continuing to play Geoff Cameron in the midfield….

…anywho, point was that Houston could really use a Dominic Oduro-type right now. TSG, runs….hides….

• Tonight’s All-Star affair is missing Chad Marshall and that’s a travesty. While Marshall has yet to show the hunger and instinct to take his game beyond MLS or back to the national team where he was once a top prospect, he’s a consistent MLS performer, surefooted in distribution and nasty in the air.

If you’re asking who I drop? Not Omar Gonzalez, but perhaps Tim Ream on MLS performance alone? (Don’t get all crazy on TSG on this. Speaking strictly first half performance output here.)

• A big mystery as to who Hans Backe starts in tonight’s All-Star game against Manchester United. The buzz has been that Backe will go for speed–at that makes sense given that United aren’t close to top form and it’s speed that typically bothers it’s backline, Vidic and Ferdinand in particular.

Backe’s got a roster of 8 defenders, 6 midfielders and 6 forwards. To me, that easily says 4-3-3 with perfect redundancy.

That said I think you’ll see protection in the middle of the pitch and Backe use his wingbacks (Sean Franklin, Bobby Convey, Corey Ashe and I think either Cameron or Pearce) to get up the pitch in a hurry.

Here’s a gander at a possible starting line-up that takes into account the conjecture that Backe’s team will be speedy and unorthodox.

Backe's boys this evening?

• I might be slowly coming around to the idea that I’d like to take just a little look–nay, a peek–at Heath Pearce in the left centerback role for the US. Costa Rica at HDC would be just fine to prove that notion way off for me.

• The fact that Kenny Miller choose Cardiff–or better known as where Craig Bellamy goes to hide–says all you need to know about the state of the SPL right now. Pundits will argue that exposure in the SPL gets you into the EPL or perhaps a jump across the channel, but I can’t remember the last marquee signing of an SPL player by a major European club.

Kenny Miller had a deal to now-relegated Birmingham fall through. Anthony Stokes is stuck at Celtic. Conor Sammon went to the powerhouse known as Wigan. Aiden McGeady, perhaps the league’s top talent in 2009-2010 had to go all the way to Russia to play with Spartak Moscow.

Beware Alejandro Bedoya. Beware.

• This could be the most intrigued I am in almost three years to see where Freddy Adu lands this season. Remaining at Benfica with the history would be mistake.

• Sergio Aguero rumored to be penning a deal with Manchester City today. Ah, the Tevez Mancini never had.

At one point, many more of these were thought to be in the future for Krkic at the Camp Nou...

• Fantastic read by @Zonal_Marking‘s Michael Cox for ESPN on forgotten Barca man Bojan Krkic move to Roma.

Here was an exchange between Eric Giardini, our Serie A expert around here and TSG in the commentary on the unique financial nature of the deal–and possibly some creative accounting to counter forthcoming financial fair play restrictions.

Eric: You guys are smart, help me figure this transfer out: Bojan Krkic to Roma for 12m with Barca having to purchase him back next season at 13m UNLESS Roma forks over another 28m to keep him. The only logic I could think of was if Roma fails to qualify for Champions League then Bojan experiment didn’t “go as planned” and he is expendable/Roma won’t be able to afford him with the money gained from CL play. Other than that, I’m still trying to process it. I find it odd that Barca value Bojan the same/a little more than Fabregas.

TSG: That certainly looks like the straight business practice of roundtripping.

Because of the need to balance books, that’s additive revenue to both teams.

Instead of a one year loan for free essentially, Barca “makes” 12M in revenue this year and possibly 28M next year to offset losses. (Similarly for Roma who, possibly, make 13M next year if they don’t like him.)

This looks more Barca controlled or motivated than Roma.

20 responses to this post.

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/27 at 9:27 AM


      Just skimmed/read them. The first one is a good read, but this deal is also clearly made to inflate revenues to offset the financial fair play rule.

      To me, that is the chief reason for the structure.


      • Posted by EFG on 2011/07/27 at 9:43 AM

        When does the financial fair play rules go into effect? If Roma isn’t making any payments this year (which I originally thought they were if for no other reason than to help finance the Fabregas deal), then how does it aid in Barcelona’s massive debt?


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/27 at 9:47 AM

          June 1st of this year it starts.

          The real key is that Barca gets a massive payment in two years when the screws tighten a little more (all by putting in some cash this year and buying back afterward).


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/27 at 9:51 AM

        The fact that we are dealing with FIFA means that anything is possible but…

        I can’t possibly imagine that Barca will be allowed to loan a player and claim 12M of revenie in 2011 then buy the player back and amortize the 13M purchase price over the length of the contract.

        To say that because of this transaction Barca made 12M in 2011 for what is basically a loan defies logic.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/27 at 9:57 AM

          But not accounting…


          • Posted by John Henry on 2011/07/27 at 10:38 AM

            Does FIFA require clubs to follow IFRS or any other accounting standards? I doubt this would qualify as a “sale” transaction under IFRS. Substance over form and all that…


            • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/07/27 at 12:52 PM

              As an accountant there is no chance that this woudl qualify. Substance of the transaction is a 1 year player loan with a 41M option to buy (I am assuming that in addition to the extra 28 they wouldnt get the 13 from Barca).

              Lets take this to the absurdity… Chelsea decides that instead of loaning Kakuta back to Fulham they sell Kakuta for 100M pounds with a Barca style requirement that Chelsea has to buy him back for 106M pounds next year or Fulham has the a counter option. MAF has the money to loan to Chelsea 100M at basically 6% interest (or some other reasonable rate). Chelsea then when they buy him back sign him to a 20 year contract after all since he was young (its worth noting this isn’t that crazy as some NHL player signed a 17 year contract with next to no salary in the out years to circumvent the NHL salary cap). In that case Chelsea makes 106M this year and then only has an expense of 5M per year. Do this a couple times and your team becomes grossly profitable?

              I don’t see how you are curbing spending if this is allowed.

            • Posted by Damon on 2011/07/27 at 1:15 PM

              Has anyone seen an article about whether the Financial Fair Play rules are even legal in the EU? Imposing a salary cap without a players union agreeing to it would be highly illegal in the US. I just haven’t seen any discussion of this at all and I think its a pretty interesting topic.

            • Posted by dth on 2011/07/27 at 1:20 PM

              That’s an excellent point. EU antitrust rules are very restrictive, and UEFA is certainly a monopoly at this point.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/27 at 4:30 PM

              I wonder what accounting standards will be used across Europe, because as far as I know, there isn’t a standardised one.

              I am not sure the unions will do anything, because ‘technically’ players contracts go against EU Employment Law ‘Restraint of Trade’. But [I believe, need to double check] the sport gets a special dispensation because of the potential destabilsing effects if a player could give X weeks notice. IMO, players cannot and should not have it both ways – they sign an obscene money-spinning contract, still pick up 100% salary if they are injured in the long-term, can run their contracts down and leave on a Bosman [probably getting a mega signing-on fee] and they want more rights?!

              And this is not a salary cap – it’s making sure clubs’ expenditure does not exceed their [football related] income. Now whether you can prove Man City’s stadium naming rights was at a true *market* price, is another matter…

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/07/27 at 4:33 PM

              And while we’re on FFP, what about the clubs who don’t own their stadiums because they sold it to the local government and but rent it back for chicken feed [the cheaper corn-based feed, of course]? Yes, Real Madrid and Barcelona, I’m looking at you.

  1. Posted by EFG on 2011/07/27 at 3:53 AM

    It has been interesting to read the falling out Bojan and Pep allegedly had over the past few years. I’ll comment more when I am not writing on a phone in a hotel room when I should be packing.


  2. Posted by dth on 2011/07/27 at 7:10 AM

    I wouldn’t mind a Heath Pearce peek. For me, though, the first look goes to George John. Maybe a John-DeMerit pairing at CB for that game.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/07/27 at 8:20 AM

      I wouldn’t mind that pairing either against Costa Rica.

      Odd that we could see many of the same players on the field for that friendly as the World Cup qualifier in 2009.

      Robbie Rogers, Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein, Jonathan Spector, Benny Feilhaber.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/07/27 at 8:28 AM

        Hm…I suspect Bradley goes with a younger bent and uses it as Olympic prep. So I bet you see guys like Sheanon Williams, Zarek Valentin, Brek Shea, Bill Hamid maybe even a Rich Balchan or Amobi Okugo.


  3. While there’s no argument that the Dynamo need a burner up top, Oduro was pretty anonymous on the field for Houston. You may or may not remember that he was shipped off to Chicago after an absolute shocker of an open net miss early this season that seemed to be the last straw for Kinnear/Canetti.

    Sometimes guys need a change of scenery to get their game together and Oduro would appear to fit in that category.


    • What, but I fully believed he would easily score 15 goals this season.

      In all seriousness, I don’t want to talk about Oduro. As far as I’m concerned, If we’re talking about quick forwards that played in Houston I’d rather talk about 2007 Ngwenya, maybe in 2008 Kamara (still dumbest giveaway by Houston excluding DeRo)


  4. Posted by Alex on 2011/07/27 at 12:10 PM

    I mostly agree with your starting line-up for the MLS All Start game, but one change I could see happening is Beckham in for Jewsbury, and pushing Joseph deeper. This puts a better distributor in our midfield and Beckham has been in pretty good form.


  5. Posted by dth on 2011/07/27 at 8:27 PM

    An interesting little odd-and-end: they’re doing the draw for the 2014 world cup for UEFA soon…and France has slipped to the second pot. La patrie is slipping. Aux armes.


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