While at the Engen Knockout Challenge at Vasco 10 days ago, I got chatting to one of the sponsors.
Lovely bloke, runs a website called All Out Scout.
It’s a great idea, coaches and parents can upload video clips of players with promise, along with their contact details.
It’s starting to take off, however, many of the posts are without video, which is a bit strange!
The idea is that scouts from anywhere in the world can log in and check talent from all over the country.
It led me to the question: who’s really benefiting from it?
The All Out Scout guy seemed really honest and while trying to monetise his site, didn’t appear to be a crusading, imperialist, ravaging the continent of its resources.
That’s an accusation made in many circles in South Africa - foreigners who spot youngsters and ship them over to Europe, making bag loads of Euros in the process.
Of course there are many unscrupulous operators out there, but generally I believe an opportunity given to kids trying to hit the professional ranks in Europe is an absolute plus.
It’s often tough for them, adjusting to different cultures, missing home and of course there’s the potential disappointment of not breaking through.
But for those who do, what an amazing prospect.
Of course at the other end of the scale are the “super agents” the Pini Zahavis, Pere Guardiolas and Jorge Mendess of the big money transfer world, not forgetting the name of the moment…. Mino Raiola.
It’s no wonder the Paul Pogba to Manchester United story is likely to happen, given Mino’s slice of the proposed transfer fee.
The Italian-born Dutchman is set to pocket £18 million!
Can you believe it? That’s around R320-million! Madness.
The rich, plump, clever, bastard also represents United’s other new signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
By the start of the season, the three of ’em will have earned him just under £50 million.
There’s hundreds of agents out there, but as with the local corner store going out of business under the might of hypermarkets, the bigger the top boys get, the less the pretenders are left to fight for.
As a high-end player or coach, you’d want the negotiating power of a rep who’s been mixing it in Real Madrid’s boardroom, wouldn’t you? Pay him a fatter fee, gain a fatter fee!
It makes economic sense. Meanwhile… as the Pogba saga develops, with Raiola pushing every button he can to make it happen, Spanish paper El Confidential has claimed that neither Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane nor the player himself are very happy about the seemingly imminent switch to Old Trafford.
They go on to say that Pogba has even contacted ZZ to help push through a move to Spain.
But, as with Barcelona - who also fancy him - Real are shutting the door to any deal with the kind of numbers that are floating around.
For United, it’s so much more than just having a world class player on the pitch. It shows real intention, it gives the fans genuine belief again and of course millions in merchandise sales!
I still pray every night that there’ll be a hitch, maybe Madrid will chuck a player plus cash at Juve, perhaps Raiola will be collared for tax evasion, Brexit might even kick in… something, please, anything, just don’t let him become a Mourinho player.
Before I go, remember we spoke about the pleasure in watching the Euros minus diving, ref bullying and card gesticulating.
Well, the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association have outlined new laws to target “intolerable behaviour” in English football.
This season, red cards will be issued to players who aim offensive or abusive language or gestures at referees.
Yellow cards will be shown to any player who runs up and confronts an official about a decision and a ref can book at least one player if he is surrounded by two or more teammates.
Must have been seen as a successful dry-run in France!
Another nail in the real football coffin, or a sensible idea? Bit of both for me really…