Monday, November 14, 2011

panem et circenses

Interventionism in Everything: Football Edition (Jonathan M.F. Catalán)
Marca, a Madrid-based sports newspaper, published a story on Neymar, a Brazilian football player who had been tied to Real Madrid for quite some time. The piece goes into quite a bit of detail concerning why exactly Neymar never trasferred, and why Real Madrid has lost interest in signing this prodigy (...)

It turns out that the major incentive to move to Real Madrid would have been the much higher wages the Spanish club were offering Neymar. Because Santos, the relatively poorer football club that Neymar currently plays for, could not afford to match these wages, his transfer was seen as a real possibility. The threat of his movement to Spain is not just Santos’ problem, apparently. (...) Neymar is a celebrity and an icon. (...). Thus, the maintenance of his Brazilian identity has been deemed a priority.

It is such a priority that Dilma Rousseff, current president of Brazil, personally intervened in the transfer by securing Santos a €40 million loan from the Bank of Brazil. This loan will help the Brazilian football club raise Neymar’s wages to €7.2 million per year. In terms of gross income, this is still 15% lower than Real Madrid’s offer. But, considering differences in the tax codes, it allows Santos to offer Neymar a roughly equal wage in terms of net income earned.