Is Gareth Frank Bale (the best player in the EPL) worth £87M? by @essdonli



Real Madrid is worth over £1.7billion and earns £422million annually. Los Blancos is by far the biggest football club in the multiverse. The question of player worth is rather silly, like asking the Qatari Royal Family if Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players (worlds most expensive painting) is worth $250m (£211m). It’s always better to understand a purchase from the perspective of the buyer, what he benefits from it and what he can “afford” for it.


THE SALE (Inflation)


Tottenham had no intention of selling their star 24year old (with three years left in his contract) this transfer window, especially after an exceptional and brilliant season (26goals in 44apps). It should be noted that Bale was independently asserted to be worth £40M early in the season, so where did the remaining £47M come from?


Such deals are either subsidized or inflated by the calibre of the buyer, in this case Real Madrid (+£10M). The same Los Blancos of Zidane, Figo (from rivals Barcelona), Beckham and more recent, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. They’ve broken the transfer-fee record twice in a row, with Zizzou and Cr7. Any half-witted seller would inflate the price as soon as Perez walks in, like an M&S store getting a visit from the crowed Prince.


Asking the question is rather pointless, like is Falcao worth £53M or is Cavani worth £55M. You might even question Barcelona’s shady assertion that Neymar was bought for £57M, and is a player who has never played in a top European league or international cup (not Confederation Cup) worth that? Bale on the other hand was the EPLs best player last Season (+£10M), who “can” help Madrid win the La Decima (+£10M) and gain endorsements and shirt sales (+£10M =+£40M). Probably the extra £3M was allocated for jet-fuel, drinks and refreshments during the long and exhaustive meetings from London to Madrid (Lol).




Tata Martino criticized Los Blancos but seemed to have forgotten Barcelona purchased the services of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for £60M (a deal which included Eto). However, to understand the purchase of Bale, you’d need to know a little bit about Madrid’s 2013 transfer adventures.


When it’s all said and done, with the sale of Ozil, Higuain, Kaka, Carvalho, Leon, Callejon and Albiol, Real Madrid actually lost only £34M this transfer window and if they had sold Khedira for the Manchester United bid of £34M, they would have lost zilch. That’s amazing considering Monaco spent £146M and recouped a mere £5.5M.


Manchester United bid £34M for Sami Khedira, that’s £15.5M more (1.8times) than value him (£18.5M). G. Bale however is valued at £57M and Real Madrid coughed-up £87M (£30M more), that’s 1.5times his worth. So in other words it’s very shocking to see clubs that criticize “outrageous” transfer fees do even worse when they’re desperate and to make it worse, it was REJECTED.


The point here is if your club had enough clout to pull big players and had the money to do so, the fans would be the first ones screaming BUY, BUY, BUY! Speaking of fanship, Real Madrid is fan owned, thus Socios really have a say on who comes and goes and the Madrid fans yelled for Bale. Perhaps Perez’s bargaining skills isn’t as good as Nigerian women in Wuse Market but if Bale was bought for Neymar’s fee (£50M, if you believe it) with less buzz and hype, I assure you, he’ll not sell as many tickets and shirts (RM average 1.5million team kits per season) or get as much endorsements (which Madrid thrive on based on image rights).


Arsène Wenger’s remarks can be seen as a reverse joke (jokes-on-him), noting he just spent £42M on Ozil (Madrid had bought him for £12M, that’s +£30M, in-turn, the worth of Giroud, Rosicky and Arteta COMBINED).


That’s a team (Arsenal) that owe £100M which is relatively low compared to Manchester United’s £370M debt (4 Bale’s worth in debts). As opposed to Real Madrid (the most valuable and profitable club in the world) who owe £125M in bank debts and with £85M in the bank their debt is £40M, adding transfer liabilities, it totals to £100M. Same as Arsenal except for the fact that Madrid earn £100M more annually (£80M of which is revenue).

Real Madrid is most often at the end of sneers and half-witted critiques, especially when it comes to financial issues. For the record FC Barcelona’s (£512M) squad is worth £42M more than Madrid’s (£470M). On average wage per player per week, Barcelona also tops the list with £97,000 ($152,000), Madrid in second place with £90,320 ($141,000) and humble Chelsea takes third with £73,660 ($115,000). In terms of Wage Bill to Turnover (how much you have after you’ve paid salaries) the three significant mentions apart from Madrid (43%) are mid-ranged Manchester United (50%), conservative Arsenal (33%) and Arab-subsidized Manchester City (96%).

Real Madrid in the last 12years have spent almost the same amount as Chelsea (with a debt of £500M) in the transfer window and for the same time the EPL has been the highest spender. This year La Liga made £86M while Premiership lost £411M.

When Real Madrid signed Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009 for £80 million, they recouped that fee and even profited, as a year later the club announced it had made £90 million off of jersey sales with Cristiano Ronaldo’s number 9 jersey at the time. It’s good to ask what fifty-million-pounds Torres brought to Chelsea or would Ozil add forty-million-pounds to Arsenal’s trophy(less) ambitions or what would I gain as a fan, if my club chooses to save the money rather than buy star players?

FINALLY (Bale’s Wage Situation)

Transfers are overrated in terms of financial burden, the real cost is in the salary, which they more than make up for (Bale’s salary = Ozil + Kaka + Higuain).

G. Bale is likely to receive £256,000/week and in order to make room Madrid had to do away Kaka (£200,000) + Higuain (£100,000) + Ozil (£90,000), basically +£390,000 – Bale = +£134,000. They’re also likely to increase ego-bruised C. Ronaldo’s salary by £120,000 (totalling to £320,000), leaving an extra £14,000/week in the bank. Compared to Manchester United’s highest earner and bench-warmer W. Rooney on £250,000 and Chelsea’s unfortunate mistake F. Torres’ £175,000. It should be noted that Ozil wasn’t sent away because of Bale, Ozil left because he wants more playing time and with new signing Isco he foresaw problems with this demand.

Conclusively, whether it be right-wing Gareth Bale or any other player, such debate and discussion on this issue is a waste of time for the most part. Gareth Bale is worth what Real Madrid paid for him because they determined that they needed a world class 24 year old midfielder who is entering his prime as a soccer player and has a lot to offer them as a club on and off the field of play.


(Further Reading)


[Note1: I am a hardcore, unapologetic but I’d like to think “rational” REAL MADRID fan].


[Note2: all transfer values are derived from All currencies are based on Google finance: £1= $1.56, €1= $1.32 and £1=€1.18].


Picture courtesy of Ronaldo7 (

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