Why Pogba is worth every penny…
90million, 100m, 110m… what’s another 20million between friends? Is Pogba L’Oreal? While I’m sure the confident Frenchman believes he’s worth it, how do you go about defining value for money in such an insane and inflated market?
It’s easy to imagine Roman Abramovich throwing fun coupons off the side of his Yacht at Bill Kenwright in exchange for Romelu Lukaku. This of course would be followed by Roman thumping his chest in a tribalistic tribute to the Wolf of Wall Stret. Hmm hmm hmmm.
While fact is often stranger than fiction, I’m fairly confident there is more of a thought process when it comes to the acquisition of marquee signings such a Pogba.
Imagine you’re the man responsible for signing off a £100m transfer. It’s hard to picture right? We find ourselves scoffing at 99% of the transfer deals, because quite frankly the numbers are incomprehensible to anyone sitting outside the diamond encrusted football bubble.
So how do you actually go about measuring a player’s worth? Well, lets take Pogba as a case study. Is he worth it? In our opinion the answer is yes. But we must move beyond debating whether or not he is world class. Whether he’ll even perform is only one piece of the puzzle.
- Context is everything
Three Years ago, Gareth Bale set a world record transfer of 85million pounds. He was a player who had a very successful 2 years in the PL but little European or international experience.
Two years ago, Barcalona paid 75m for a player who was barred from all football related activity for X amount of months.
One year ago, 50m for Raheem Sterling…enough said on that (jokes we love you Raheem, and the price of English players is a debate for another time).
The fee being banded about for Romelu Lukaku is 76m…hmmm hmmm hmmm
- Return on investment is irrelevant
Love him or loathe him, Pogba is a household name. You wouldn’t be reading this if you he wasn’t. Is Pogba worth 100m to Real or Barca? Probably not as they have accumulated 12 major trophies since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United. In that time United have an FA cup and Europa league slot for next season. They need a Marquee signing. Pogba is a statement of intent.
It’s more than likely that he’ll make up the intial fee in shirt sales alone. But these signings aren’t about financial return. They’re an investment in your brand. Take Virgin Media’s partnership with Usain Bolt. Richard Branson wont be expecting to make money back through broadband sales. It’s a longer term strategy where your brand becomes synonymous with greatness.
Investing in Pogba is comparable to the Galatico project of the late 90’s and early 00’s. While Real Madrid failed to produce consistently on the pitch, the likes of Beckham, Figo, Fat Ronaldo and Zidane ensured that Real Madrid remains THE club that players dream of playing for to this day. Not to mention the fact that Madrid rarely fall out Forbes equivalent of the Champions league spots.
- Pogba is really talented
All this and we haven’t even mentioned if this player can play? His achievements for a 23 year old are simply ridiculous. A CL final, European final, domestic and league titles, Best young player at the World Cup, FIFA team of the year….oh yes, did I mention he is 23?
In this Post-Brexit world expect prices to carry on rising – London houses, Freddo bars, football players. The 100m transfer fee today could well be 200m in 12 months.
This non-debate was put to bed brilliantly by Gary Neville on his triumphant return to thoughtful punditry. For a club pulling in 120m from two sponsorship deals, the acquisition of Pogba is a drop in the ocean. Splash.
So ask yourself again, is Pogba worth it?