I want to make it clear I am not trivializing mental illness or personality disorders which affect many people in many different ways, but rather I am finding more and more that football clubs are operating with a likeness to those affected by such illnesses and disorders – it comes down to behaviour.
Often, commentators and analysts in business will compare particular companies’ and corporations’ operating procedures and strategies to an individual’s personality – some large corporations display psychopathic tendencies, for example, when they put profit before human life.
Football clubs are companies, and are not altogether dissimilar from political parties either – some clubs operate like large corporations, acquiring the assets of smaller clubs, expanding their fan base, globalizing their brand and exporting their philosophy whether it follows a capitalist or socialist model.
Real Madrid in the capital city of Spain just acquired the best asset in North London in Tottenham’s Gareth Bale – in effect they headhunted him and they got their man. That shows the kind of personality the club demonstrates.
They’re fiercely competitive – it was recently asserted by an associate of the club’s president Florentino Perez that he didn’t need Bale, he merely wanted to have him at Real so that no one else could. Perez is known to be an avid art collector who considered Bale just like a fine painting he wanted to own in his collection of talent at the Bernabeu.
This is evident in the way Real appeared to go about their business this summer from the offset – the talking up of a player that Zinadine Zidane described in May as ‘comparable’ to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in his ‘most impressive’ talent. This week Zidane claims Bale is ‘not worth’ the money the club have smashed their transfer record to splash on him.
Earlier this summer, Perez himself insisted the club would pay whatever it took to sign Bale who he described as ‘not expensive’ whilst nine-figure sums were being discussed, he said he was ‘happy’ to pay. He asserted his belief that ‘great players pay for themselves’, that they are ‘an investment’.
That was in June, by August, the weekend before the deadline he’s complained about the €100 million fee which he said ‘seem[ed] a lot to [him]’ – he suddenly came off reluctant to pay.
When the deal went through finally and the club unveiled their record-breaking new signing, suddenly Bale was one of the ‘very best players in the world’ and ‘worth every penny’ again – until a few days later when he definitely wasn’t ‘as good’ as Cristiano Ronaldo.
When we make comparisons between companies and individuals, we are looking at the traits that they exhibit in their behaviour and practices – either Real Madrid being somewhat disingenuous or they are just completely bipolar over Gareth Bale.
image: © cogocogo