The Mailbox is dominated by talk of Lionel Messi and Harry Kane. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Messi’s next move…
Sell Judas Kane for the knockdown price of 120m.
Get Messi on a Free. Pay him Kanes wages x2.
In all seriousness though, its a classic Parratici move.
TGWolf(stop sniggering at the back, it *could* happen)THFC
Ok Daniel, shove Kane off to Man City, collect the £120m that Pep will pay. Put the money in the bank and use a slice of it to pay Messi’s wages when he joins on a free. That dream partnership of Messi and er Winks is close to becoming a reality.
Following the news that Lionel Messi would not be a Barca player next season, the stage is set for the transfer saga of this window. This development will most likely affect the Harry Kane to City transfer.
Due to Messi being a once in a lifetime player, Guardiola would push for his signature thereby abandoning the Kane transaction. Or it might lead to a crazy scenario of Spurs selling Kane to City and using the money to fund a move for Messi. Spurs would instantly become one of the favourites for the title.
Methinks Grealish would not have moved to City had the Messi situation happened earlier in the week. Anyway it would be fascinating to see where the GOAT ends up. Here is hoping he moves to the Premier League.
Kwame Williams, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Spurs sell Kane to city for silly money and use it to pay Messi’s wages for 3 years.You read it here first… 😉
Brian Clancy, Spurs, Vancouver
So Financial Fair Play receives a significant setback if Messi is to stay at Barcelona. To maintain the integrity of FFP, he has to leave. So the integrity of FFP could, in a roundabout way, be saved by……
But seriously. What a strange end to an absolutely incredible period in the history of football. Ring the bells in the churches of football, Lionel Messi is leaving Barcelona.
There will be a ton of speculation as to where he might go and he is definitely going to upset the established order (or reinforce it?) Where ever he goes. There will be a lot of column inches dedicated to how Barcelona cocked up so badly financially. Yet, let us just stop and take this in. Arguably the biggest headline in a long long time.
He is going to continue to be great no matter where he goes. But please lord, for the love of everything holy, let it not be f**king Manchester City. As an Arsenal fan, I don’t know what to do do if we have to line up against KdB, Graelish, Sterling, Messi et al with only Xhaka and El Neny to hold off the apocalypse.
Abhilash (If Messi joins Arsenal on the other hand, that the Amazon documentary will make enough money to get Bezos on another spacebound flying dick)
So Messi has officially left Barca.
The worlds greatest ever player* has left for free. This is beyond crazy. Transfer market has him valued at over 60m, he has just come off a season in which he scored 38 and assisted 14 in 47 games.
Financially they are struggling but the news of a loan deal for La Liga appeared to have fixed those issues(short term). But to just let him go, and in this kind of fashion is almost sickening, and I rarely rarely use that word. (In a sorting sense)
He has literally given them everything, and yes, has been highly compensated for it, but to bring what he brought and consistently brings to that club, it is such a kick in the nuts of the legend.
I was going to write in about this before the news(The disrespect and complications) but I would loooove United to sign him. He can play out right or up front. Put him anywhere!
Very astute of Southampton to let Ings go the night before Messi’s announced as leaving Barca.
Lukaku and all that…
I’ve never been that convinced by Lukaku. He didn’t do it at Chelsea the first time round, he never quite did it at Man U although he was okay, he did it at Inter but in a weaker league and didn’t exactly set the Euros on fire this ‘summer’. He’s a good player but not a monster in the Costa / Drog mould*.
Chelsea might want to forget about Lukaku and instead either follow F365’s advice and not actually buy an attacker (Werner’s got to find his shooting boots sometime soon surely) or, and this might be worth a punt, woo free agent Messi, tie him down to a two year contract and then go all out for Haaland next summer. I mean, the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest there’s ever been has to be a clincher?
Just a thought
* Okay, I’m setting myself up here. When Mr Abramovich ignores my sage advice and Lukaku bangs in forty next season on the way to the PL / CL double I’ll feel a bit of a twat but hey ho…
Back to basics…
There has been wave after wave of opinion on the Harry Kane transfer saga with almost every conceivable viewpoint ventilated, from the sensible to the inane. While not addressing the matter directly, I hope this mail at least gives a fresh (if not new) perspective.
The contract is one of the England’s greatest modern legal contributions, and the jurisprudence coming from the English courts for so many years has been adopted – or at least affected – by numerous countries, even those with civil law systems. It is therefore somewhat amusing and ironic that there is so much debate (within England, in particular) about whether Kane’s recent actions are justified or not.
This is because the question, at its root, is a legal and not moral one (more on this at the conclusion). At its core, a contract is an agreement where one person makes a promise to another in exchange for something else (the legal terminology is consideration). The person making the promise is bound by the terms of the agreement to perform the promise as agreed, and the counterparty is bound to honour its obligations to give consideration for the promise. Applied to the present facts, Kane is obliged to honour the terms of his contract with Spurs, and Spurs in turn are obliged to pay him his wages and honour whatever other benefits the club agreed to confer on him in exchange for his services.
To be clear, nothing above means that contracts cannot be broken (deliberately or otherwise), terminated by mutual agreement, become incapable of performance or otherwise avoided or rescinded in exceptional circumstances.
What it does mean is that both Kane and Spurs are free to do whatever they want, but they have to bear in mind the consequences of their actions insofar as such actions affect the legal agreement between parties.
Technically what Kane has done may – and probably does – amount to a breach of contract. The consequence of this depends on the nature and extent of the breach. If rumours are true that he did not turn up for training, in all likelihood this amounts to what is known as a repudiatory breach of contract. Tottenham can technically accept the breach, bringing the contract to an end, and then sue Kane for what it was promised but didn’t receive, namely 3 additional years of service that would likely run into millions of pounds in damages.
On the flipside, if the player’s contract also contained promises by the club as to where the club would be in 2021 (when it was signed in 2018) and these failed to materialise, Kane would have grounds for terminating the agreement. Obviously this isn’t the case since no club – or in fact no rationale person – would promise something that it cannot reasonably guarantee. It leads to the conclusion that whatever representations that may have been made about the future, none of them found their way into the official agreement.
And if you think for one second Kane didn’t know this, then you’d be naïve given the fact that every player – apart from being flanked by an army of advisors and a consigliere (in the form of an agent) – would have top end lawyers vetting his or her contracts. This point is also relevant to the entire discourse and debate on “gentlemen’s agreements”. It is once again ironic that multiple viewpoints have been aired on what the status of such agreements are, when it was the English courts themselves that originally held that such “gentlemen’s agreements”, “memorandums of understanding” or “good faith promises” were – generally – not recognised or enforceable under English law. There are or course exceptions. And once again, I’m sure Kane would have been duly advised of this fact.
Where am I going with all this? Well, it’s just that the legal positions are pretty clear and there is also no moral argument to be made. Both parties entered into the contract on their own free will and certainly saw the benefit of doing so at that time. The fact that one party subsequently changes his mind afterwards is understandable – that’s a part of life – but so is accepting the responsibility and liability that comes with that choice. Morality shouldn’t come into play, not because it is irrelevant, but because of the degree and extent of subjectivity in how we assess whether something is “right” or “wrong” – the extent of varied opinion on the subject makes that clear.
If I were Tottenham, I’d accept Kane’s conduct as a breach of the contract and sue him for his bottom dollar. If Man City are willing to underwrite that, then we know it’s game on.
Alex the Legal Eagle
Lament at the start of a new season
On Sunday week, I will drive to Tottenham on my own, for the first time in more than 30 years. On the day previous I will meet my three lads, (imminent grandchild permitting) and we will watch the new family local derby, between Aylesbury and Leverstock Green. I am a legacy fan.
When my parents were newly arrived from Ireland in the late 50’s my Dad decided he should take his son to the football. After a few visits, he told my mother “the lad isn’t interested in football.” My mother knew better. She asked me why I didn’t like going to the football, my answer “Daddy takes me to Arsenal, all my friends are Spurs fans”. The rest is my history in football. Since that day in 1959 I have seen Spurs win everything except the European Cup/Champions League, this has brought me highs (Ricky’s late winner in the Cup Final at Wembley in 1981) and lows (the long drive home from Anfield in 1978 after a 7-0 hammering), and many laughs along the way.
My parents became fans as I grew up, and had season tickets, and after their passing, my three sons inherited them. When they were younger, going to Spurs with Dad and Grandad was something to look forward to, whatever the football was like (and most of my lads early memories of Spurs are only enjoyed with the darkest sense of humour) Grandad always came good with a treat. The boys missed their first chance to see Spurs win a trophy, as my Dads generosity enabled us to take them to Florida, so as Spurs beat Leicester, we were high up over the Atlantic. In 2002 I somehow managed to wangle a fourth ticket and we were all present as Spurs lost to Blackburn in Cardiff, that was another very long drive home. In 2008 my youngest had just had his college course cancelled, so my wife prevailed on me to let him have my ticket. I was not a happy bunny, but the joyous photos of the three of them celebrating at Wembley are now some of my favourite photos of them.
I was very fortunate to be able to continue paying for all 3 tickets, I justified it to my wife, as painful as it was each year, by emphasising that it was a great glue to keep us all together. It’s no secret that even the cheapest tickets at Spurs are expensive. This year there are grandchildren on the horizon, and the boys will have other demands on their time, and with the new digital season tickets, transferring is a lot more hassle. So, reluctantly I have only renewed mine, even I couldn’t justify £2500 for 2 tickets that may not get used for every match. I will still meet my two school mates for a beer afterwards, not in the stadium, I am a legacy fan after all. I will miss having my lads with me, and I have rarely gone into a season with less enthusiasm.
Why have I written this? I can remember the dark days of the eighties when I was the subject of some genuine curiosity at the company where I was working, because I was going to Anderlecht for the UEFA Cup Final. Very few people admitted to being football fans then. Since football was (re-)invented in 1992 however, it has become acceptable again for everyone to say they support a team. Over the past year, watching football on tv from empty grounds has cooled my enthusiasm greatly, and the whole ESL fiasco highlighted the disdain the financial guys have for the average fan, and their almost total contempt for people like me, the legacy fan. Everything in life is cyclical, and the ‘high’ which football has enjoyed since Sky arrived will not endure forever. I’m not stupid, all clubs have only ever been after our money, but any pretence of a genuine interest in the fans has now been stripped away. Football clubs need to take greater care of the fans who actually come to watch, otherwise we will slip away, and the emptier stadiums will be little more than memorials to legacy fans. I will always be a Spurs fan, as will my lads, but it’s hard to have the same level of passion for a club, when their only interest in you is how much money they can get out of you.
Jim French (Spurs since ’59) Herts.
Thank you for your article, boot on the other foot. Here is my two penneth as a Spurs supporter, well two points really.
Who is to say Levy is not being honourable and is happy to fulfil his word if he has indeed given it. But it has to be a fair price. If Jack love him is 100k I would have thought 150k ish is fair and reasonable for Kane. That being the case Kane should be at Spurs until someone wants him at a fair price. Saying (press in general not you) Levy would not honour a gentleman’s agreement is disingenuous really. There has to be a fair price and until then he is a Spurs player and no one has been unfair except Mr Kane.
Second point. I do not really see the pleasure in collecting silverware with a team who would have probably won it anyway. I would think these achievements would feel shallow compared with winning something hard to achieve and better to do that and be a club legend than an easy rider. I don’t actually mind him going, you want players who want to be there but I think long term he will regret it, unless he really does enjoy hollow victory. It will make beating Man City so much more pleasurable.
Nuno btw was my first choice as soon as he left Wolves. I think he will be amazing.
And… I agree, Spurs have been despicable to some of their players!! No wonder Mr Levy thought Jose would be a good fit lol.
Keep up the good work
Whatever Silvio Dante says, I don’t think there’s much in common between Mitch Winehouse and Daniel Levy aside from that they’re both Jewish and get some press attention. Winehouse strikes me as a horrible, exploitative guy that’s bad at his job. Basically a vile human being on pretty much every level which Levy isn’t.
I don’t know who Levy would be. Maybe Colonel Tom Parker resigning his prized Fat Elvis (read Harry Kane) to a life on the Vegas strip? Perhaps a more benign version of Led Zeppelin’s thuggish manager Peter Grant? Ask Johnny Nic.
Anyway, pre-season is shit, in fact, in a lot of ways it’s worse than no football at all. The only amusement for me is hearing about some random Italian team racking up a literal cricket score against a team of goatherds in the alps or the Annual Rollockings for Scottish teams in Europe (A.R.S.E. as it deserves an acronym.)
What else is shit is Olympic football.
I watch it because it’s better than pre-season and has a rich history of great teams competing in it (admittedly a long time ago) and the likes of Crespo, Messi, Neymar, Aguero and both Ronaldos more recently.
It’s shit but easily fixed.
1) Firstly, put it in the footballing calendar to end the nonsense over call-ups and countries like Mexico playing two concurrent competitions
2) Secondly go big. Now that the Confederations’ Cup is done, why not have the Confederations winners as qualifiers. Because at the moment it’s a weird compromise between selling tickets and promoting youth.
3) Less games. Two or three knockout matches only with the highest ranked teams seeded. Either way really doesn’t need to have the winner playing six games.
4) Or just go small. Have your half-dozen games for each side but make it strictly an under-21 World Cup without the likes of Richarlison and Maya Yoshida stomping around. I get that Dani Alves is old enough to be Pedri’s dad but it’s nice just to see a promising young team go for it.
5) Having watched some of the enjoyable Olympic Hockey one on one shoot-outs, maybe FIFA should have a bit of fun with the rules.
MLS style penalties after 90 minutes, perhaps with extra defenders added after every ten or so seconds. Or perhaps extra time where you withdraw a player every couple of minutes.
Quarantino, Chairman of the Bored, ITFC.
PS: 20-21 season Rashford is just 17-18 Salah with the confidence switch flicked to ‘off’.
Christian Purslow vid
This probably won’t make a ripple amongst Jack Grealish and Messi mails but I can’t recall a message from a club like the video Christian Purslow addressed to Villa supporters. Clear concise facts around the player being sold, and the rationale around who and why they have replaced him with.
In response to Ben asking about footballers on nights out (and to move on from Harry Kane please), Ben Foster is from my town and could frequently be spotted out and about on a weekend. Early on in his career the big story was the time he strolled to the front of the queue, gave it the “don’t you know who I am” and was promptly sent to the back of the line by a bouncer who had no idea and couldn’t have cared less.My own highlight though was watching a friend who knows absolutely nothing about football, giving him a proper telling off in a club because he’d upset a Birmingham supporting mate of ours by signing with the Baggies. In fairness to him he stood there and took that bollocking with good humour (although I don’t think the girl he’d been chatting to stuck around), I think he’d had a little time to mature between these two stories.