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Despite this frightening moment during last night’s Gamper Trophy match, one that had scientists everywhere running around like frightened rabbits, shouting something about “The Toure Doomsday Scenario,” the earth is still on its axis. Whew! We worried about what might happen when both Toures were on the same pitch….imploding galaxies, small children being sucked into a vortex, time standing still.
But thankfully, we’re all fine.
And in other news, now that the world can continue:
–Regarding his selection for the Gamper match, Guardiola said “Bite me.” Okay. Really. “I did not want to burden the senior players with minutes, taking into account the important committments that will come.” He added, “Despite the result, I’m happy with the way things turned out. Anyone who doubts me just needs to go and read barcelonafootballblog.com, where the match review will make clear why I am happy. So there.” (Only some of this quote is made up. Really.)
–I really, really hate to bring this up, now that we’ve hidden the dead, radioactive carcass of the beaten, nuked horse from public view, but Txiki B. said yesterday that the call to sell Eto’o was all Guardiola. “We wanted to keep Eto’o, recognizing the quality that he has,” said our sporting director. “But according to the coach, we knew that the management of the squad would be easier without him. There had to be change. And that change was Ibrahimovic.”
–Sport says that no, really, this will be the day that Chygrynskiy leaves, if Shakhtar sucks it up in Europa League group stage play. We swear.
–Douchebags cost money, is the word that came down from the Assembly meeting that was held yesterday. In specific, the censure motion drummed up by Oriol Giralt cost the club a million Euros, and the legacy of the Nunez presidency, thanks to fiscal irregularities regarding the payment of player salaries, will cost the club another 60 million. It was voodoo tax economics, in which players were paid through a company that owned their image rights, to take advantage of a lower tax rate. The first ruling, from this decision, is about 25.5m. There is another, pending decision which is expected to go against the club, that will account for the remaining 35m. Ouch.
–In other fiscal news, we’re raking it in from TV and Nike’s sponsorship. Our deal with MediaPro, according to Joan Boix, is worth 120m per year, and with another 30 (40 if the jams are kicked out and titles are won) from Nike. On the debit side, between various bonuses and incentives related to winning the treble this season past, the additional cost to the club was some 30m, in total.
–The club will be working with 405m total budget, the biggest in its history. You folks who are socis should know that club fees won’t go up, despite the 6+ percent budget increase. Call it pessimism or fiscal common sense, but Boix added that the club has only budgeted reaching the 1/4 finals of the Champions League, because you just can’t count on that level of success repeating itself. A further 25m is foreseen from the sale of some players (Hmmm….). It is expected that when Heavy J and the Boyz step down, they will be leaving the club with an eye-popping 144m in profit for the term.
–Our total sporting payroll, by the by, is 202m. Not a ton of dough for the success that we’ve achieved. But I can’t imagine, once Puyol is signed for life, and Iniesta receives a contract that, in the words of Txiki B., reflects his “true value,” that number won’t go up significantly.
–Terms of the President and his board will now be six years. There was a last-minute proposal offered to make Laporta Emperor of the club “forever and ever, amen.” But it wasn’t taken seriously, despite some backroom wrangling. Laporta added, “I rock, so the people that I support will also rock. So be sure, if you want the club to keep kicking ass and taking names, to support them instead of that other dude. Word.” (Only some of that is made up/paraphrased.)
–Pedro! signed his new contract, that includes a 75m buyout. He’s signed until 2014.
–You like the kids, I like the kids, we all like the kids, but none of them will be promoted, said Guardiola after last night’s match. Of course, expect them to be earning travel miles as they shuttle back and forth for various competitions, particularly Muniesa, Johnny Two-Time and Fontas.
–That “Ding!” sound that you kept hearing was the cash registers ringing, as more than 94,000 fans, a Gamper Trophy match record attendance level, pumped more than 3m into the club coffers. This doesn’t include the feeding frenzy that almost certainly ensued at the Botiga. You live Gamper vets know what I’m talking about. People jam their way into the store, buying any, all and everything, from shirts to pens. The aftermath is stuff laying on the floor, and feverish sales staff. It’s an awesome sight.
Finally, lest anyone think Ibrahimovic wasn’t putting out for the side, check out the bloody knees (above)!