Written by: Massimo Sampaolesi. Translated by: Carlotta Belluzzi
The first two matches have had us earning 4 points. It’s not a miracle, and yet, according to some late summer mumbles, it’s more surprising than we thought. Indeed, the first signs of strong (and, in my opinion, unaccounted for) criticism against Joey Saputo have started to trickle down. By all means, we are luckily still nowhere near full-on protests, but there is some discontent in the air. As ever, the issue relates to the management of the team and their performance, which, for some, still leaves a lot to be desired.
The season has just started, and the transfer market will still be open for a few days. The desperate plea to pour more money into the team highlights the real hunger of the average football fan: hunger for success. They do not yearn for financial stability; they will just happily settle for the weekly mocking remarks towards their colleagues and schoolmates after match day on Monday mornings.
And yet, if they want to be able to consistently mock rivals, surely they must realise that football companies (because nowadays, sports are run by companies, like in every other sector), need to have clear and achievable plans. Everything has to run like a Swiss watch: a goal on the pitch is nothing but a chime activated by a working mechanism.
To be even clearer, I will use the case study of Masina to argue my point. Much has been discussed regarding the moral side of the story: is it right to sell a player that was brought up wearing our colours? We can afford to ask such questions, because we are not the ones keeping the accounts in check; however, if we tried shutting our heart down for a second, and think rationally, we would understand that timing is essential here. Let’s think about ‘Mbaye: until not long ago, he seemed to be one of the least valuable assets of the team. And yet, thanks to his grit and the help of his father/manager, he has become an important element within the group, inasmuch as many of the naysayers have been forced to change their mind about him, and now regard him as entirely necessary for the team. For Masina, his progress has been less linear, and the last season was certainly not one of his better ones. With this being the case, it should be no surprise that an offer of 10 Million Euros would be taken into consideration. The managers’ wallets cannot hold money and sentiment at the same time.
Saputo’s project starts from further away: those who we could one day consider to be our frontmen, are currently 14/15 and are playing in the youth leagues. Any project with strong foundations cannot come to be in a couple of days; a lot of time and effort have to go into it. It is a bit like what is currently happening with Ducati: the Bolognese motorcycle manufacturer has not come to be the leader in its sector in a day; it has taken much work and determination, many challenges to be overcome, and, indeed, a lot of money. All of it was required: sweat, effort, money, and patience. And to think that we, the fans, only need to put the patience in, makes me feel a lot better.