Don’t be fooled by Kaka reports, soccer’s feeling the crunch

January 15, 2009

The papers are bustling with talk of Milan’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka being at the centre of a £100 million pound transfer to Manchester City, with half a million a week as the incentive. Credit crunch? What credit crunch?

As shops, banks and the housing market face the recession, Manchester City, now the richest club in the world after being taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group, are showing no signs of being crunched.

But a look elsewhere in the Premier League shows that the credit crunch is very much eating through other clubs.

Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said before the opening of the transfer window: “They (the board) understand I’ll need one or two players to replace some players.”

Chief executive Peter Kenyon dampened his hopes by saying a week later: “I don’t think we will be doing any business in the January transfer window”

Chelsea were close to signing Robinho for around £25 million in August and following the sale of Wayne Bridge to City for £12 million would seem to have the money available. Their stuttering form has led to calls from their fans for reinforcements but they would seem to be falling on deaf ears.

Bluechampion wrote on his blog: “Given that our forwards don’t deliver, given that we bother more about how we play than what we achieve, given that Scolari is unable to influence the match proceedings, no signings in January does not sound like good news.”

Premier League leaders (for now) Liverpool have delayed building their new stadium because of the “global market conditions” while you’d imagine Arsenal, who are redeveloping their old ground Highbury into property, must have been affected by the drop in house prices.

West Ham United’s owners have been stung by the collapse of the banking system in Iceland and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley has taken the club off the “for sale” list after failing to find a buyer, something that would have been difficult to imagine merely a year ago, when perspective owners from around the globe were interested in buying Premier League teams.

It’s not like the league’s on its last legs or anything, but it certainly seems like there’s less money sloshing round … City apart, obviously.

PHOTO: Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich (R) and chief executive Peter Kenyon (L) look in opposite directions during a match at Bolton,  Oct. 7, 2007. REUTERS/Phil Noble

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