By Aristo Dotse

Brazilian football superstar Neymar has not only entered history as the most expensive player ever but also the highest ever paid player with his world record transfer move to French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from FC Barcelona of Spain.

This transfer fee of 222m euros (quoted as 200m pounds) – which is more than twice of the huge previous world record of 89m pounds (105m euros) Manchester United doled out to buy Frenchman Paul Pogba from Juventus a year ago – and total of 400m pounds contract for just one player who is not yet a Lionel Messi, Pele, Diego Maradona, Ruud Gullit, Roberto Baggio, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, or even Cristiano Ronaldo – is absolutely outrageous, astonishing, gargantuan, jaw-breaking and crazy. It is quite correctly an insult to mankind, especially the many poor and needy people around the world who struggle for even decent meal, water and shelter every single day.

Thus, for the first time the world is angry over a football (or soccer) player’s transfer. Many are angry over the amount of money involved for just one player. Even, the European Club Association (ECA), of which the great German Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is the chairman, is angry. Even Barcelona who are beneficiary of the unprecedented 222m euros fee aren’t happy and threaten to report PSG to UEFA over the hefty amount of money they paid to get Neymar. This is incredible.

And it’s not for nothing that some people are unhappy over this Neymar business. It simply tells that PSG have encouraged something bad with this Neymar acquisition and it is not good for the future of football, in the area of player acquisition that has already been getting out of hand with huge transfer fees, especially in the last four to five years, for even ordinary players.

Now, sadly and unfortunately, in the wake of Neymar’s big, big money deal, youngsters like Osumanu Dembele (135m pounds), 20, who Barca want to sign from Borussia Dortmund as Neymar’s replacement, and 18-year-old countryman Kylian Mbappe (160m pounds), who Real Madrid want from Monaco, are being over-priced with ridiculous price tags that defile belief and good reasoning.

Breakdown and cost of Neymar’s transfer

Aside the 222m euros (200m pounds) signing fee, PSG, according to reports, will pay Neymar an unspeakable amount of 865,000 euros (782,000 pounds) a week, for an annual salary of 45m euros (40.7m pounds). This is absolutely incredible, a crazy amount for one player you can do nothing about. And all this doesn’t include the reported hefty (23 pounds) PSG had to pay Neymar’s father as his agency fee.

What at all do PSG want?

What all do PSG want with this crazy buy of one player with all the money in the world? The club’s big ambition, since their current owners Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) took over the club in 2011, is to be at the high table of European football, a height they are still yet to reach, and this has demanded a win of Europe’s premier club competition, the Champions League, which no French club, except Olympique Marseille, have won thus far.

PSG have tried to reach this pinnacle in the last few years but have always fallen short, like last season when they spectacularly got booted out of the Champions League at the quarter-finals stage by Barcelona after winning the first leg by a comprehensive 4-0. Neymar was instrumental in helping Barca score an incredible 6-1 win in the return leg for a 6-5 aggregate victory, and maybe it’s the moment or reason PSG decided to buy him at all cost to help them win the Champions League this season or in the near future.

Whether Neymar can help them win the Champions League remains to be seen but it’s never a good idea to think you can spend all the money in this world on just one player with the hope or expectation that he would help deliver the crown you so much crave for. After all, how much is the prize money for winning the Champions League for PSG to spend this big money for just one player when people are hungry around the world, looking and begging for food to eat to satisfy their beings? Real Madrid, winners of last season’s Champions League got a little over 54m euros in performance-based money from UEFA, and this amount (54.2m euros) is nothing compared to Neymar’s Barca release-clause tag of 222m euros that PSG didn’t waste time to pay.

It is not always true that you buy or can buy success with money. This is affirmed by especially Liverpool’s extraordinary 2005 Champions League triumph in the famous ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ story and even Monaco’s remarkable success of last season in beating the cash-rich and star studded PSG to the French Ligue 1 title and reaching the Champions League semi-finals stage.

PSG have said they wanted to prove they could afford him (Neymar). And so what? What did they gain by paying this big money to afford him? They could recoup this money now or later through merchandise that is already booming for them since Neymar’s arrival, but it doesn’t erase the fact that they spent as much as 222m euros to buy him and a total of (400m pounds) to afford him when they could have used the money for more important and profitable things.

Manchester United have not won even the Premier League, let alone the Champions League, since 2013 but they are currently the most valuable football club in the world , according to the recent Forbes’ valuation of sports teams in the world. PSG can and should take a cue from this.

Neymar unveiled at PSG
Neymar unveiled at PSG
PSG’s social responsibility in France and around the world and Everton’s example

Have PSG thought of what a total of 400m pounds, including the 200m pounds used to finance the purchase of Neymar could or can do for them in their corporate social responsibility programme in Paris and France and around the world? Surely, they have done their bit in corporate social responsibility in Paris, where the club is based, but it is a doubt if their total for a season is even ten per cent of the amazing total amount used in forcing or convincing Neymar to leave Barca.

You don’t just spent too much money on something you could spend far less on or you don’t need, especially when there are other people or things needing money or support elsewhere just because you have too much money and want people to know you could afford him (Neymar). PSG have the right to spend their money how they want it but money should be used wisely. As a public entity with eyes now on them, PSG should be more responsible or careful.

The 222m euros and total contract sum (400m pounds) can help do a lot for PSG in France and around the world in the area of the club’s corporate social responsibility, which of course is no force or obligatory but very essential in helping build an important image, fan-base and support for a club. And undoubtedly, PSG need love supporters and their love outside Paris if they truly want to be a popular club outside France.

Let’s assume that PSG, as part of their corporate social responsibility, go round the world to identify people and charities and support them with money and food. You can imagine how PSG would come to have special places in the hearts of these people and charity organisations and how they would in turn come to love and follow PSG.

This is why the latest news of Everton going to the aid of young homeless people in Liverpool is so refreshing. And PSG can learn a great deal from this. As part of their ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ campaign of their corporate social responsibility programme, Everton, with a “significant cash donation” from their current player, right-back Seamus Coleman, and former player Duncan Ferguson and club chairman Bill Kenwright, have raised £244,400 to buy a house for homeless teenagers in Liverpool. This great gesture by the club will offer home near their Goodison Park stadium to 16 to 23-year-olds who are homeless and roaming the streets of Liverpool.

People, poor and needy ones around the world, are looking for help and PSG can’t be throwing crazy money at one player in the hope of winning a competition called the Champions League. These poor and needy people who are hungry and struggling to get food to eat and shelter to lay their heads badly need the money if PSG don’t want theirs or don’t know what to do with it.

Like in other parts of Europe, there are certainly homeless people on the streets of Paris and France. PSG should spare a thought for them. Go to Qatar where PSG’s owners come from and of course there are many poor and needy people and organisations alike. PSG can and should think of helping them.

In Africa, the story is no different, with the current famine in east Africa example of the struggles. Charity organisations around the world have tried to do their best for the poor victims but where are PSG with all their money to help them? Only last month, a woman in Ghana died sadly because she didn’t have money to pay for blood to save her life. And PSG go about misusing money in the name of securing a player with money that can do so many good things for the benefit of mankind and humanity.

Even in the United States, especially in New York and New Jersey, people are hungry and homeless and needing life uplifting. They wake up every day roaming about in trains and train stations and on the streets begging for food or a quarter (of a dollar) to buy food. PSG should or can spare a thought for such people, who need help so badly.

Credit: Soccernet newspaper