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Weekend of Facebook and Football

So I booked in my Facebook username today and went with a rather predictable “”.  I’m still not sure I understand the point of having a Facebook Username but there was a lot I didn’t understand about Facebook when Pat first recommended it to me two years ago.

I went out drinking last night with a friend from work in Brisbane who was up in Sydney for a conference.  We went out drinking at some fancy bar in the city.  I have to say that after drinking beer in Hong Kong ($50HK) and Paris (7 euros), I am now a lot more appreciative of how cheap it is to get a drink at a bar here.

Here I am getting my drink on with Butler

I’ve blogged about this in the past but it continues to amaze me the amount of money that players go for in football.  The big news this in this summer transfer market is Real Madrid plonking down $350,000,000 million for Ronaldo and Kaka.  Thats such a ridiculously obscene amount of money.  Is football recession-proof?

Speaking of footballing giants, we’re not many weeks away from the start of the new season of the A-League.  This year sees a newly rebranded Brisbane Roar square up against nine other sides, including two new clubs from Queensland.  It’s pretty sweet since it means we’ll get to have some derby games now.

The notable signing for Northern Queensland Fury is that plucky young England striker Robbie Fowler.  It’ll be interesting to see how long he does.  So far, the A-League hasn’t done especially well with its marquee signings.  Dwight Yorke, Romario and Mark Bosnich all didn’t stick around for very long and didn’t make much of a difference with drawing in the crowds.  I think these soft overseas players can’t handle the pace of the game in the A-League.

Gold Coast United
Gold Coast United

Gold Coast United are the other new club, who have the financial backing of the richest man in Queensland, Clive Palmer.  Palmer talked up United in the press, saying that he fully expects the club to win the A-League in its first season, and possibly without losing a game.  So it’ll be sweet to see the Roar take them down a notch or two when they finally meet.  Stupid Gold Coast Richers that think they’re better than us!

It’s getting pretty damn cold in Sydney these days so I’m looking forward to staying in and watching some movies.



I found a pretty educational article on how the finances work for Real Madrid.

Fresh from winning a record eighth European Cup, the second in three seasons, Lorenzo Sanz looked certain to win re-election to the presidency of Real Madrid. Pérez won a surprise victory, promising a to erase the club’s debt and sign Luis Figo.

He did both.

And he paid for it by arranging the re-zoning and sale of the club’s training ground for 500 million euros.

This cleared the debt and provided the funds for the assembling of the “Galacticos“, a squad of the most famous and talented footballers on the planet. This team of superstars was phenomenally successful at earning money for the club. Pérez aggressively marketed the team globally, and courted some of the world’s biggest multinationals for sponsorship.

Today Madrid takes in a reported 350 million euros annually, with approximately 39% of that proceeding from marketing and commercial activities, and 38% from television rights.

Pérez has often bragged that Zinedine Zidane’s 75 million Euro capture was “the cheapest signing I made as president”, because of the extra income he generated. The lesson, presumably, is that signing players like this pays for itself.

If we assume for a moment that Kaká and Ronaldo will pay for themselves in the long run, there is still the question of paying for their arrival. This time there is no property to be sold to pay for the large initial investment.

The answer is debt.

This summer’s signings will be made with borrowed money.

It is curious that Real Madrid is so flush with credit when so much of the world is cut off from it, but this too has an explanation.

The first part of that explanation is the TV deal signed by Calderón. It is assumed by most outside analysts that many of Calderón’s signings were made with loans that used the TV money as collateral. In effect, they are spending tomorrow’s money today.

The other part of the explanation is Florentino Pérez himself. He is the CEO of ACS, the largest construction company in Spain, with an annual turnover of 16 billion euros last year.

The company also possesses a debt of 9 billion euros (down from 16 billion in 2007). Maintaining a good working relationship with Mr. Perez and ACS is clearly worth a lot of money to certain banks. Enough to fast-track a loan of 300 million euros? Perhaps.

Should it all go to plan, revenues will rise and the increases debt will be reduced to a manageable proportion.


About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.

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