"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Monday, 2 September 2013

Bale out

So the deal is finally done, Cardiff born Gareth Bale has finally signed for Real Madrid and in doing so becomes the most expensive football player in history. Not bad for a player once described by the English media as a flop defender who ought to be offloaded to Birmingham for £3m. The Real deal was signed for €100 million which works out as around £85 million. But bare with me as this isn't really a post about football.
The top 10, with a Cymro in first place
As I trawled through the list (or should that be trolled) I noticed the most expensive English player. Andy Carroll, currently playing for West Ham United (via Liverpool). At £35 million he is £50 million cheaper than Bale was. Although he was later sold on for a £20m loss.
'Flop defender' Bale vs Flop striker Carroll. Share via twitter | facebook
I made that pic as a little bit of fun, but as I said this post really isn't about football (but I have to pad it out and also keep the people who came here to read about football interested). Whilst I was looking through the list I noticed something curious. If the transfer figures were compared in Euros then Andy Carroll would not be England's most expensive player, it would be Rio Ferdinand, whose £30m transfer from Leeds United to Manchester United in 2002 equated to €44.8m.

That's a bit of a shock, just eleven years ago you could get €44.8m for £30m but in the space of about 11 years you'd only get €41m for £35m and it's remained at the that rate since. The media is always so quick to label people as flops, perhaps they should start describing the pound as a flop.

2002 - £1 = €1.49
2013 - £1 = €1.17

So as I've said, this post isn't really about football, it's about how much the pound has flopped over the last decade. As an easy comparison, if Gareth Bale's transfer to Real Madrid had gone through at the same exchange rate as when Rio Ferdinand left Leeds then instead of £85m he would 'only' be £67m. That is a difference of £18m (21%). Of course the likes of Tottenham are not going to complain, neither are the businesses here that do most of their trade via the Euro. But what about the rest of us? The pound in our pockets is worth considerably less than many people realise.

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