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Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010

PREMIER REPORT

Tevez perfect example of a spoiled athlete


LONDON — We cannot be far from the day when a footballer puts in a transfer request because he doesn't like the tea lady.

Christopher Davies

Carlos Tevez took whingeing into new territory when he asked to leave Manchester City, claiming his relationship with certain executives — chief executive Garry Cook and football administrator Brian Marwood — had "broken down beyond repair."

The Argentine also does not get on with the English language. Despite becoming a multimillionaire through playing in the Premier League, his English makes Fabio Capello seem like a university lecturer.

How you can dislike anyone quite so much when you don't speak their language is beyond me.

And how often does a footballer meet club executives?

(Answer — hardly ever).

Kia Joorabchian, Tevez's adviser (when did agents become advisers? I missed that one) said his client would still make himself available to play for City despite the transfer request.

Considering Tevez is paid/earns (readers can choose) a mere £287,000 a week after tax, we should be grateful for such magnitude.

Iranian Joorabchian and City have been playing the PR game this week, with Tevez's agent, whoops, adviser losing the battle to the extent he has been lapped. Fans are fed up with highly paid prima donnas moaning and seeking a sympathy vote that will never be given.

Tevez wants away because he doesn't get on with certain executives, he is homesick and misses his two daughters who live with his estranged wife in Buenos Aires and — this is a belter — is unhappy with manager Roberto Mancini because he was substituted a minute from time in a recent game.

Most big-name players regard that as an honor because the crowd can give them their own applause — not the dummy-spitting Tevez, though.

If he won the lottery, he would probably complain it wasn't a rollover.

Tevez signed a five-year contract worth £60 million last year. I would work in Pyongyang for that. Even half.

The striker is also apparently unhappy that having failed to qualify for the Champions League last season, the club didn't do what he wanted (yes, you did read that correctly).

It has not addressed "certain issues" which Joorabchian did not specify.

However, the main row appears to be between Joorabchian, not Tevez, and Cook. City has made a concerted effort to reduce the fees paid to agents/advisers like Joorabchian and has halved its annual outlay to around £6 million.

Tevezgate does nothing for the credibility of football and adds to the general opinion that most footballers are money-grabbing mercenaries.

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, believes the greed of certain players will make fans turn their back on the game.

"When supporters are unsure who is going to be in the team from one week to the next, never mind one season to the next, that starts to make people feel uncomfortable," Taylor said. "You get players not honoring contracts . . . players who have just signed one contract and, with their agents, are looking for the next deal."

Thankfully, Mancini is in no mood to accommodate Tevez's demands.

* * * * *

IMAGINE Sam Allardyce going to India and telling Venky's, the poultry firm, that their new production unit should be in Chennai, not Mumbai. Anuradha Desai, the chairwoman of Venky's could be excused for saying: "What the hell do you know about our business?"

And if Allardyce replied: "I have a specialist in my family, my brother knows a lot about chicken production," Desai would struggle to contain her laughter.

But that is how Ms. Desai and Venky's have approached football since taking over Blackburn Rovers in October. They have become instant experts, firing Allardyce because they didn't like Rovers' style (or rather lack of it).

Blackburn is 13th in the Premier League, five points off a Europa League spot and five points from the relegation zone. Venky's glass is half full and Desai said: "The team should not be five points from relegation. Blackburn should not all the time be in danger of being relegated."

The fact that Rovers finished 20 points above the relegation zone last year appears to make Desai's knowledge of football on a par with Allardyce's of chicken production.

Desai continued: "We should be fifth, sixth or seventh . . . with more young players being introduced this can happen."

So now we know the secret to success. Bring in the kids.

Why didn't Sir Alex Ferguson or anyone realize this?

Experience?

Forget it. Untried youngsters are the way forward.

Venky's is using Kentaro as its main advisers, not that they really need to. Desai saved the best for last — are you ready?

"We have a specialist in our family. My brother knows football very well, " she said.

Christopher Davies was a longtime Premier League correspondent for theLondon Daily Telegraph.


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