Blatter and Ronaldo threaten to further alienate fans

July 11, 2008

Ronaldo said he agreed with Blatter’s comments

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has caused controversy with his remarks about modern day players being treated like slaves.

 “I think in football there is too much modern slavery, transferring players or buying players here and there, and putting them somewhere,” Blatter said. “And we are trying now to intervene in such cases.”

Critics say his comments are ridiculous given players are paid millions more than the average fan, who would give anything to turn out for his favourite club for free.

Asked specifically about Manchester United’s efforts to prevent their Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo leaving to join Real Madrid, Blatter told Sky News the English side should let him go.

“If the player wants to play somewhere else, then a solution should be found,” he said. “Because if he stays in a club where he does not feel comfortable to play then it’s no good for the player and for the club.”

Blatter’s point is that in normal life a worker can resign from his contract and move to another employer whenever he wants.

It all boils down to whether player deals are viewed as financial contracts or personal ones. Manchester United will at least be well compensated if Ronaldo moves, which would not happen if Joe Bloggs moved from normal job A to normal job B.

But being a soccer player is not a normal job, is it?

PHOTO: Portugal’s Ronaldo leaves after a treatment session on his injured right ankle at a physiotherapy centre in Lisbon. July 11 REUTERS/Hugo Correia


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This is a tough one Mark. Being a soccer player is not a normal job at all. I’ve had passionate ideas on both sides of the issue for a few days now and the only thing that makes any sense to me is – if I were Ronaldo how would I see it? So, putting myself in his shoes I would conclude that I would want to play in a potentially more beautiful city, country and team. But that’s just me. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and since beauty can be quite complex, one could argue that the beautiful life also contains notions like loyalty, constancy, teamwork, etc. When I was a player I would have loved to have played for a great, noble club like United but given the chance of playing for Real or especially for Barcelona would have been on a level higher – and irresistable to me too. I think the best insight we’ve had into this saga is when Scolari advised Ronaldo that opportunities like going to Real come along only once in life. The end game here then – United makes a big stink for a while, piles the pressure on Ronaldo and Real, in the process making them look bad – and un-beautiful – and United gets a wack of cash. And – next season we’ll be watching Ronaldo run about the Bernabeu in that beautiful all-white strip.

Posted by Beautifulgamer | Report as abusive

Make a deal, keep a deal.

Break a deal, be dealt out of the game.

Ronaldo is sensational player to be sure.

Sad to see human side is so shallow and devoid of honour.

I admit my passion for Manchester United clouds my view; Ronaldo should stay another season and when we take the treble next Spring we will see about a transfer.

A trip to Wembley and the F.A. cup would help us complete the set.

Posted by Elliot S | Report as abusive

Wild, wild remarks from Sepp Blatter once again. I swear everytime this man opens his mouth I become more shocked at what he proceeds to say. Comparing contracts to slavery is irresponsible, and downright ridiculous. FIFA has tried for years to rid the sport of racism, and then remarkably, unbelievably, the head of UEFA stands there and makes a comment comparing a contract to slavery!!

Aside from the racial overtones of his statement, a contract is signed for a reason. A contract is a legal document signed by the player, thus obligating a player to represent the organization for the full length of the contract. If a player is unhappy then both club and player should be responsible agreeing to the poor deal and live with it. I’m convinced that in modern football contracts mean absolutely nothing, which is a true shame.

Look at a club like Ajax or Arsenal. Massive believers in playing football the right way, starting all the way down at the youth level. Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have created a masterclass of talent with Fabregas, Adebayor, Sagna, Clichy, and Walcot all being some of the hottest young names in the game. Yet wage demands made by under contract players such as Hleb and Adebayor make the effort of constructing a team such as Wenger has done, fruitless in the end.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

This comments are out of order. Sep “Pratter” should know better. True, in the normal world you can leave your job when you wish. However, being a professional athlete is no normal job. You get paid millions to do something you love. Here’s the problem. Ronaldo knows that whilst he may have been the best player in the world last year, he’s not truly the best player in the world yet. His market value is NEVER going to be higher than it is now, which is why they are pushing for a move now. He’s abuot 2 years away from being worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Zidane, Cruyff, Plattini, Brazilion Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. He’s on his way, but is’nt there just yet. He needs to prove last season was no fluke and that he is truly a leader of men. He’s starting to lack class. As a matter of principal, NO WAY should United sell him

Posted by Robin Watson | Report as abusive

Well as the head of FIFA why does he not introduce the system he esposes. We treat all players like ordinary workers and pay them a wage. If they don’t like the job they give a months notice to quit and vice versa the employer cab sack the player. No transfer fees to the clubs just another company offereing a better wage.I truly don’t think he believes this it’s just that like Platinni he can’t stand English clubs being top dogs.If he did believe it, then a lot of small clubs would go bankrupt as their best players would just walk for free to a bigger club offering higher wages.

Posted by crispin | Report as abusive

i couldn’t belive what a man like BLATER can say a very shame words to convice a very young player like RONALDO to leave his club but no one can know may SEPP BLATTER is working under cover for MADRID the same as PLATIN.RONANLDO has got no strong reasons to leave his club there is nothing new at madrid and he should know that in this world that we leave there is no team to compare with MANCHESTER UNITED.

Posted by emmanuel meela | Report as abusive

I can only speak for how it works in the US (and I believe in Canada) you can certainly opt out of a contract and leave the money on the table; BUT and this is a rather large ‘BUT’ without fail they have ‘no compete’ clauses.
That’s to say, a CEO of a bank can’t resign and then walk over to a competitive bank right away and take a position there.
I’m sorry, but there are contracts for a reason. Players often sign longer contracts in order to have financial security. If they don’t like the idea of being held as ‘slaves’ then sign 1 year deals and pray you are good enough every year to be re-upped.

The kinda of system Blatter is proposing would be mayhem. You’d get players leaving in the middle of seasons en masse to go to the top clubs and the already top heavy leagues in Europe would just be a sham. Why stick with a relegation struggler or a mid-table club if you can just cop a stroll whenever you want and win a title on the bench? You could just go back next year under Blatter’s proposal.


Posted by papa bear | Report as abusive

Blatter just likes to push his nose in to let people know he is still around, he states in one breath players should go when and where they want to play and then next he is pushing very hard to get only 5 foreine players allowed, is that not double stardards at it’s highest level he’s just lost it.Ian Dent

Posted by Ian Dent | Report as abusive

As a huge Man United and Ronaldo fan i think what has been said about being a slave is quite shocking. I earn £225 a week working hard and struggling to pay bills and these footballers can just go out and buy things that i could never afford even if i saved for 50 years. If you sign a contract you should stay to the end

Posted by mark | Report as abusive

you are all blithering idiots. first, being a slave basically means that a person is owned in whole or part by someone else and is not free to make choices. by that definition, professional football players, being owned by football clubs, and not in control of the decision as to where they play (yes, the bloody transfer fee), are slaves. second, no one has said that absent Man U accepting an offer to buy out his contract, that Ronaldo intends to break the five year contract he currently has with Man U. wait until madrid offers 75 million pounds as a transfer fee. then it will be Man U. breaking the contract? get over it.

Posted by joe blow | Report as abusive

it was shocking ideas!!!slaves?!its not make sense “BLATT”so he think that all da football players are slaves?how poor “BLATT” with his ideas!!! i think he just have a deal with real madrid to get CR7 there, m-b he got some compenssation for it. but 1 thing for sure that CR7 still on old trafford till his contract end, his not for sale n madrid just will crying their destiny.

Posted by westi | Report as abusive

it is a shocking ideas. how come they can not see another aspect, such as fans, that love their fave club and player beyond anything… football now is not as black and white as a piece of paper. it’s more than that.

Posted by rahadian | Report as abusive

even [let say] Ronaldo has already move to Madrid,
He will be just as slave as in Manchester United, no different.

Posted by snydez | Report as abusive

The baggage that comes with being a superstar, is to live in a fish bowl.

Posted by kovolikessoccer | Report as abusive

I’m sick and tired of comments made by Sepp Pratter. He is essentially anti-English and many comments can be found to confirm this view. His latest ‘dictate’ re. Ronaldo and Madrid is further evidence of his determination to undermine British soccer. He appears to me to be a rather pompous ‘oaf’ who has probably never played high level sport and just wants to get his ‘oar in’ every now and again.
Regarding contracts; it seems to take ‘for ages’ for agents to agree to let their player sign a new deal. The money is always totally exurbitant and the deal usually on the players side. But surely during the months of discussion some comment is make about ‘slavery’ or does the agent’s commission cloud the issue until a ‘get out’ clause is needed. The contract has taken ages to reach and both sides have signed an acceptance of this in order to stabilise the club, build a stronger team for the future, and compensate players for having to put up with living in a leafy rural priviliged area of Cheshire in £5,000,000 mansions, as many flashy cars as you can buy, endless sports contracts, fame and adulation. Surely it’s only a small price to expect both sides to honour contracts and try to come down to the ‘real world’ of people struggling to pay mortgages, redundances, higher petrol prices, higher inflation, raised charges to see these teams. The one thing is for sure…the way football ‘prima donnas’ are behaving and constantly putting ‘2 fingers’ up to fans can only end painfully. No-one likes being treated with contempt indefinitely.

Posted by Starburst | Report as abusive

Never mind Ronaldo! I am a mad Man United supporter and I think that fergie should stick Ronnie in the reserves for being a cheeky knob. He doesn’t make the team. He never has!
We can get along and succeed without him.

Cheers Red Devil Supporters Worldwide!

Posted by Robert | Report as abusive

Being a liverpool fan i’d see Ronaldo’s departure as a good thing, however from a football fan’s point of view his ‘shallow’ view only shows up what was once a beautiful game. If the man is not at Man U next season this will in my opinion not have a massive impact on Man utd. Unfortunately they are a fantastic team with a great manager who will not be swayed by the self obsessed image of one player. Utd have just won the major tropheys in football, Ronaldo can’t really do better, it just seems image and a lust for greed are clouding his judgement. On the other hand he’s done it all with Utd and perhaps wants pastures new. Only he knows, regardless of what the daily rags may say.

Posted by Mickey B | Report as abusive

On the contrary Mickey B, Ronaldo doesn’t know where he’ll be next season…only God knows now apparently!

Posted by Bob | Report as abusive

it is obvious that sepp blatter and platini are working under cover for real madrid, for ronaldo to insist on moveing to madrid were there is nothing new means blatter has being trying to make him move to real, especially with this type of his ultrances, it is quite a shame that blatter is making such statements on football, he should be impeached from his post, he is nuts, how can he be comparing football contract to normal professional contract, the two work on different ropes, ronaldo is happy playing for man utd but the likes of blatter and platini are convincing the lad to move to madrid, ronaldo has no genuine reason for leaving man utd a club that has won him glamour and firm…… oh ronaldo dont let blatter spoil your day for you!!!!!! he is not helping you at all. blatter is a cheat with all his comments we know what he has in mind, its obvious he is favouring real madrid

Posted by obidodegunzano | Report as abusive