It’s been a tough summer for Manchester United. Paul Pogba went to Juventus, a loss that doesn’t hurt because of the departure itself – United had no desire to keep his services – and more because of what it represented: the unfortunate end of yet another huge and costly signing failure. Cristiano Ronaldo, praised As a returning hero after joining the club last summer, he’s already had enough of tilting the windmills and he is Currently They strive to find a new club capable of guiding it towards more substantial goals. As for the brighter offensive boosts for the Red Devils targetingIt now looks more likely that Anthony will stay at Ajax. And the midfielder chosen by the new midfield coach, Frenkie de Jong, appears to prefer being angry and disrespectful at Barcelona than joining a smoldering circus like Man United.
This, I think, is the appropriate context to put into the recent tweets of Gary Neville, a former United playing legend, formerly the laughing stock of Valencia and currently an insightful TV pundit. We can start with the following tweet sent on Monday:
Now stop, that sounds too dramatic! If what Gary said is true, it sure looks like some serious, and possibly illegal, hoax is taking place in Barcelona. The problem, as Gary must surely know by now, is that what he said isn’t actually true.
Now, it would be fair to say that Barcelona at the moment treatment De Young is bad. For months, the Catalan club has launched a secret media attack aimed at expelling De Jong from the club, and making it seem that it is all his fault. So when Neville describes Barcelona’s treatment of de Jong as “bullying”, he may have overestimated things, but not by very Many.
But it is the contractual aspect that complicates Barcelona’s treatment of the star midfielder and lays a lie on Neville’s care about immorality and illegality. It goes back to October of 2020. Back then, at the start of the first full COVID-19 season, with empty stadiums starving clubs like Barcelona of much-needed match-day income, and with then club president Josep Maria Bartomeu after a vote Cheerleader of no-confidence, Barcelona announced that several key players, including Frenkie de Jong, have agreed to extend their contracts. These extensions are designed to alleviate the club’s cash woes by offering significant reductions in player salaries over the next two seasons in exchange for large equivalent salaries at the end of contracts. as on spanish paper markThis is what de Jong’s restructuring looked like:
So, in exchange for a €16m salary cut over the 2020-21 and 21-22 seasons, de Jong agreed to a significant wage increase as well as nearly €16m in loyalty bonuses over the last four years of the contract. One week after de Jong and the others signed these heavily packed extensions, Bartomeu resigned as club president.
To be clear, these salary figures – nearly €21m this season, close to €30m the next – are shockingly high. For comparison’s sake, United It said He paid the well-paid famous Pogba 15 million euros a year on average for the duration of his contract there; Barcelona’s new signing will Robert Lewandowski It said He made 9 million euros this season; In his first season with Paris Saint-Germain, Lionel Messi was It said Pay 30 million euros. The idea that Barcelona would pay Messi-type money to Frenkie de Jong is absurd. If you’ve ever wondered how a huge, sloppy club like Barcelona can spend themselves on the brink of oblivion, the answer sounds like De Jong’s contract – promising huge sums of money to players who don’t deserve it like that. Towering figures and whenever possible, kick the can a little out of the way in hopes of avoiding all the bills due at the same time, or at least not until there is someone else standing behind the door and the creditors will inevitably come.
In light of all this, it is quite understandable why Barcelona are trying so hard to either convince De Jong to agree to a new, more reasonable contract, or sell him to someone willing to pay such bills. (However, this fact does not make it any less hideous in the specific way the club attempted to secure one of these two understandably attractive outcomes.) It is also understandable why de Jong was so annoyed with Barcelona’s attempts to get out. From this 2020 decade. In De Jong’s mind, these massive loyalty rewards are essentially deferred payments from money he had given him over the previous two seasons, which he agreed to defer only to help the club in time of need. Especially when Barcelona is spending money like wildfire this summer, is De Jong supposed to believe in the club when he cries poverty in the contract and transfer negotiations with him? And even if he agrees to leave this summer, shouldn’t Barcelona pay him 16 million euros?
But no matter which side you feel is more right, what is clear is that Barcelona are not in fact refusing to honor De Jong’s contract, and therefore almost certainly are not doing anything illegal. Admittedly, the nuances are a bit complicated. But it’s not so complex as to be beyond the realm of a smart guy like Gary, especially when many of the responses to his tweet refer to these very facts. Not that those explanations convinced Gary of the errors of his ways, as he tweeted on Thursday:
Jules Koundé, if you didn’t know already, is Barcelona’s latest signing which was unexpected Thrilling transfer window. According to the newspapers, Chelsea was leading the race to sign for The French phenomenon From Seville, even Barcelona swooped in to play the spoiler. The key to Barcelona’s success in landing Conde was apparently the player’s strong determination to subdue all other Barca interests. Something very similar was the case when Barcelona beat Chelsea against Ravenha earlier this month. This was also the case when Robert Lewandowski ignored all other interested clubs, including Chelsea, and focused only on getting to Barcelona.
And so we return to the context previously explained at the top of this post. Meath believes that what bothers Neville is not so much that Barcelona treat an employee unfairly – because what Neville is accusing the club is not really true – but rather that Barcelona, even after all he’s been through lately, still has a higher position than Neville. Beloved Manchester United and probably every other English football team. Some of the world’s most promising players are climbing to enter the Camp Nou. Meanwhile, players of the same stature have either done or are trying to escape from Old Trafford. At Frenkie de Jong we have one player stuck in the middle, with the option to play for either club. So far he has made it clear that he would rather endure the indignities of Barcelona in order to continue living in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and wear some of the world’s most iconic colors rather than play for Manchester United. If I was in my neighborhood, this would probably piss me off as well. But I’ll probably try to do a better job of keeping it to myself, just because jealousy is inappropriate, and I don’t think I’d tweet untrue things either.