Thursday, 20 September 2007

When there's no unrest, make it up

Bernd Schuster is going to have to learn quickly how things work when you are in charge of a big club. And number one on his list is to realise that every word he says will be scrutinised minutely for meanings, even where none exist. Take for instance his interview with German TV channel Premiere following Real's 2-1 win over Werder Bremen in Tuesday's Champions League match:

"I have got to wait and see if this is what I really want. I have to see if I enjoy the way things work at Real Madrid in the long-term. You see all the people who come to training, and that really is a big responsibility for somebody who has previously only worked at small clubs. At Real you only get opinions, not facts. This is not good and I am not yet used to it. I will have to just see how this year goes."

I've not seen the interview, and even if I had I could not comment on it as my German is nonexistent. The above translation is taken from the Spanish version on Marca, so something may have been lost on the way. German tabloid Bild and Marca itself believe it signals a desire for Schuster to leave at the end of the season. As, on the other hand, has completely ignored the story and is keener on trying to sell the fact that Bremen's Brazilian midfielder Diego is on his way to the Bernabéu next summer. The likelihood is that these are the unguarded words of someone whose life and way of working has changed radically since his last job and is saying he needs to take stock after some time to see how he is doing. I think it unlikely that he is sending a message to his employers this early in the season, and when things so far are going his way. But what Schuster has to learn, and learn quickly, is that everything you say can and will be taken out of context by a press desperate to get their angle of the story onto their front pages. And this can contribute to a destabilisation in the club; not by itself, of course, but if other factors also come into play.

Schuster must have realised that he had to provide some context, which is what he did the following evening on the Spanish Antena 3 TV channel: "Of course I'm happy. Just being in Real Madrid makes me happy because I have finally arrived at a big club and the results are going my way. I cannot ask for more. If I'm not happy now I don't know when I would be".

Some think that Marca is just causing trouble because, coincidentally, one of their favourite coaches, José Mourinho last night decided to leave Chelsea and they would like him at the helm. Personally, I find this a little far fetched. Others think, like I do, that this is just an easy way for Marca and Bild to fill their front pages.

In other news, BBDO consulting, a unit of the world's largest advertising agency, published a ranking of the 25 most valuable teams in Europe. Real Madrid is top with a brand value of 1,063 million euros, followed by Barcelona with 948 million and Manchester United with 922 million. The report also says that Real's three-year jersey sponsorship with online gambling company Bwin is worth more than 60 million euros.

1 comment:

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