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Monday, September 04, 2006

The Murky Soup of a last minute transfer

I checked the internet briefly shortly after the transfer deadline and yes, some of the most expected transfers were there (Reyes, Gallas, Cole), but what really cought my eye was the one involving Tévez and Mascherano. One could say that after Agúero's departure to Spain, they are/were the brightest hopes left in South America and with World Cup experience.
Tevéz and Mascherano were stars for their clubs in Argentina (Boca Juniors and River Plate) and instead of going to Europe they were bought by Corinthians.
That whole transfer was quite a surprise as suddenly a Brasilian club could afford to fight off European competitions. The company behind it was MSIMSI and the face behind MSI is an Iranian, living in London, with multiple passports, called Kia Joorabchian. No one has ever been sure who is behind Joorabchian. The Brasilian police did investigate the fundings of MSI, but did not really get anywhere, there were rumours that it was Abramovich, or Boris Berezovsky (a Russian oligarch, fleeing Russian law and based in London), or that it was a money laundry for drugs or illegal arms dealing. In short term, it was dodgy.

Now with the new transfer of the two players the basic questions were:
* Was it just a parking of the two player, in order to gain European experience in order to be sold for a hefty profit?
* Were they really being bought by someone else (rumours were they were only getting a taste of curry at Brick Lane in order to later being able to shop at Kings Road)
* Or are West Ham being sold?

At first the first option seemed the likeliest, but over the weekend strange news have been appearing.
First that Kia Joorabchian is going to take over the club. It is only that he does not have the capital to buy a club on his own, thereof someone must be lying behind it and obviously we want to know WHO.
Apparently he sees great potential in West Ham (West Ham are a massive club in terms of support), and sees parallels with Corinthians. The danger with the Nouveau Rich buying clubs like cars, is that once they get tired of it the clubs are just dumped. No one knows what will happen with Corinthians, but it looks like they will be just left to rot in the gutter.

Today other news have been appearing: that the two players were offered to a lot of clubs in Europe - Sevilla, Manchester United, Roma, Chelsea, Arsenal, but they all refused as the contraactual obligations that came with the deal were not really beneficial. Instead the owner of the two players became desperate as the transfer deadline approached and in the end they were landed at West Ham.

The Deal:
West Ham have not had to pay any fees and pay only a part of their salary, but they will hardly get any profit if they (or rather when) are sold on.
If an offer comes in of $ 50 million, they have to sell or match the offer. The players will have to play in every game and MSI would decide when the players were sold on.
(These are just speculations, as no one has really confirmed the ins and outs of the deal).

But, apparently talks are going on about Joorabchian taking over West Ham.

So What is Going On?

Photos -
Tévez -
Kia Joorabchian -
T&M -

Further Reading:

Under The Hammer

More questions than answers about MSI

Joorabchian oils the wheels that make the deals

Danger ahead on the murky road from Corinthians to Upton Park



Anonymous Jimbo said...

Thanks for the article, it is an interesting story to follow. Perhaps this is the way football is going. Multi merchants?

10:08 AM  

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