A compilation, and best personal translation, of the saga involving Spurs, Chiriches, and Steaua Bucharest.
If you’re like me, you check in CFC multiple times per day during the void that is football preseason. With no games that matter until the season opened vs. Crystal Palace, every bit of news and gossip that leaks in – especially when it’s not more exaggerated Bale rumors – can help to prevent the mind from going crazy.
Being the internet sleuth that I am – somewhat – I also spend a lot of time on foreign newspapers, hoping that maybe one or two of them will have a shred more dignity than MARCA and The Sun and will give some actual insight into the goings on of the transfer market. As such, I have recently stumbled upon multiple Romanian articles that were posted in the past 6 hours or so and I will do my best to translate the information below.
What once seemed a certain move is now off as Steaua owner Gigi Becali has become incensed with Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy.
Prior to the most recent round of negotiations, it appeared that the deal was close to being agreed. And though Tottenham have agreed to pay the €8 million requested for the 23 year-old, it appears the deal has hit a roadblock.
As the negotiations progressed, the two main points of contention between the two clubs were the timetable for payment and the timetable for the transfer itself. While Steaua want a lump-sum payment for Chiriches, Daniel Levy wanted to pay in multiple installments over the next year and a half. Likewise, Levy wanted to complete the transfer at the time of the signing, while the Bucharest club wanted to use the defender in their bid to qualify for Champions League football.
Though there are different variations of the story, the consensus information seems to be that Steaua owner Gigi Becali, a victim of his own great pride and flashy temper, viewed Spurs urgency as an insult to his club and to himself. Upon hearing of Levy’s request that the transfer take place now, Becali reported raised his voice and yelled “I am Gigi Becali! Who do these Englishmen think they are?!”, then left his seat and stormed out of the visitation room.
Initial reactions had some Romanian media siding with Becali, saying that his outburst gave vindication to Romanians, who have always been under the thumb of the Western capitalists and that now was the time to make the Westerners pay by humiliating them and forcing them to come before Becali on their knees, at which time a deal might be agreed. While it would be foolish of me to get involved in such nonsense I must agree with Becali: Tottenham are totally some Joe-blow club of nothings. They only have a history dating back to 1882 and won their first trophy, the FA Cup, in 1901. Let’s totally ignore these small-market upstarts. [This was more or less the line from one of the pundit articles I read].
Of course the local and national football community will be pleased to see Chiriches stay put as he can help push Steaua into a Champions League spot and continue to get the playing time to help him in World Cup qualifications. It says a lot of the young man that hasn’t been publicly upset over missing out on a move to London , where he would have a received a salary 12 times higher than currently, and also would have seen him reunite with his girlfriend, who is studying at Queen Mary University. It likely, though, that Vlad will soon realize – if he doesn’t already – that Beculi’s egotistical negotiation tactics may have jeopardized his immediate future, and possibly his entire career.
The fact of the matter is, every player has a point at which a tempting offer must be accepted, and it appears that may Beculi may have missed that opportunity, letting his ego and big head get in the way of common business sense. It’s not impossible that a transfer could still go through in the winter transfer window, but it’s who’s to say that anyone will come calling at that point and that Spurs, and every other buyer, may not have already found their man.
It seems that Becali was even willing, wanting to see Chiriches in a Spurs shirt. But, not wanting to go without getting his ego stroked, decided that he was too important to entertain Spurs offers. Sure, maybe he was legitimately insulted, but even so, his childish reaction may have just cost his club a great opportunity. Now he must live with his actions.