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Neymar and Griezmann fail to turn up for training? Should we embrace our poverty?

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal are, quite obviously, not in the same financial league as Paris Saint Germain, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus or Manchester City.   Or now it seems Atlético Madrid.   Simply, Arsenal doesn’t have access to vast wealth provided by owners and/or sponsors.

But maybe that should not worry us too much, in that with wealth can come indiscipline.   For we read stories of late of both players and clubs behaving in ways that suggest all is not harmonious in the world of the so utterly mega rich that if you started to try and count the riches, the riches would roll themselves up in a ball and punch you in the face for being so impertinent.

Neymer, it seems, failed to return to training when he should.  It seems he’s fed up with life in Paris and wants to go to Barcelona.

This comes after he posted a video on Instagram which included pictures of a woman in bed, in what he claimed was a necessary revelation to show that he had not raped  a woman at a hotel in Paris last month.  An interesting ploy.

PSG have said that Neymar will be disciplined for failing to attend training.  PSG in a statement said that, “The club regrets this situation and will therefore take appropriate action.”

Of course as ever Barcelona were not slow to get in on the act.   Josep Maria Bartomeu, the Barça president, said, “We know Neymar wants to leave PSG, but we also know that PSG don’t want him to leave.”

Neymar is also banned in France, as in May he was given a three-match ban  for hitting a fan after PSG’s French Cup final defeat to Rennes.   And there is the unfortunate fact that he is also suspended for the first three games of the coming season’s Champions League for insulting match officials during PSG’s 3-1 home defeat  to Manchester U in February.

But then, I am not sure Barcelona want him back – unless it is to collect the €75m they say he owes them for breach of contract.  But Neymar says Barcelona owe him €28.6m for his signing on fee.  Interestingly Fifa ruled that this dispute was nothing to do with them, so it is now being heard in the civil courts – something that Fifa usually work hard to avoid.

And then we come to Griezmann.  Atlético Madrid are a trifle miffed that he too has not turned up for training, because he wants to move to…. well, you can guess can’t you?  Barcelona.  Atletico say that Barcelona and Griezmann agreed their own deal earlier this year without telling At Mad.

Atlético have been a bit miffed, have refused to discuss the matter, and have accused Barcelona of a “lack of respect.”   Which is a bit like accusing Easy Jet of paying little heed to passenger comfort.   It simply isn’t part of the deal.

At Mad want Griezmann to turn up for training since he is still at the club.  But apparently he sent a mobile phone  message in which he said that since his buy out clause was being met he did not have to turn up for training.  At Mad claim that they have evidence that Griezmann and Barcelona had reached an agreement during last season that the player would leave Madrid – which would be an illegal bid.  Of course the League could do all sorts of things to Barcelona for this serious breach of the rules but I suspect that they will do nothing.  The club is more powerful than the league.  A bit like Manchester City in England.

Meanwhile it is being suggested that Atlético have already spent all the money that they will get for Griezmann, which is why they are so uppity about having the money now.  Apparently their bankers are not that happy.

Their purchases have been

  • Nico Ibanez  £??
  • Marcos Llorente  £35.6m
  • Renan Lodi: £??
  • Felipe: £18
  • Héctor Herrera: free
  • João Felix: £113m

Although to be fair they have sold a few as well.  Funny ol’ game.

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