Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Big Fat Paycheck


Whatever with Milan’s results this year. Whatever might seem stressful amongst the team or on the pitch, it’s nothing in comparison. Not even the sale of the club is as stressful as one singular thing: Donnarumma’s contract renewal. Gigio’s 18th birthday is this Saturday, and Milan fans have been losing sleep over whether or not he’ll renew with Milan and if Milan will offer him enough to keep the other clubs away. It’s not the player that we worry about, we know he’s Milan nel cuore. It’s his agent, Mino Raiola, the most despicable agent in football. He doesn’t care about the well being of his clients, he only cares about how rich they can make him. We look at Donnarumma and see perhaps the greatest goalkeeper ever. He looks at Donnarumma and sees a big fat paycheck.

In the end, it's all about Mino

Donnarumma is the perfect young player. His skills and his maturity are well beyond his years, yet his personality is young and innocent and charming. He is always smiling, so very happy to be playing for the club of his dreams. He hasn’t even figured out to resent that his teammates leave him out to dry every match and rely too heavily on his talent. But despite his happiness at the club, there are evil forces at work.

One can only imagine the conversations that Raiola has with him. Even the person who is happiest with his station in life can be corrupted with greed and the search for more money. And if Raiola can’t do it on his own, a woman likely will. Because what woman would be happy with her man making less than €1m per year or even €2.5m per year when Raiola thinks he is worth €10m per year? Well I might be the exception to that rule, but he is way too young for me anyway.

We know his heart, but historically all men have their price

The thing is that Raiola’s previous statements show a complete disregard for Gigio’s happiness. He implied that he was looking to have the kid change clubs this year, even though his current contract is through June of 2018. I suppose Donnarumma and/or his family had a little chat with him, because at some point he stopped talking about a move and said he would see what the new ownership would offer his client in terms of a contract renewal. But a contract renewal is not nearly as much money for him as a transfer, so we know what his intentions are.

Sino Europe Sports are reportedly prioritizing Gigo’s contract extension. But the fact that over a 10 month nightmare process, the fact that they couldn’t even close the deal ahead of the goalkeeper’s all-important 18th birthday tells me otherwise. And with no faith in them and knowing what Raiola is capable of, I do lose sleep at night. Every night.

Guess who's in the driver's seat? Always Mino.

Raiola’s track record is clear: he attaches himself like a leach to young talents, then does everything in his power to get his clients the best-paying contracts, not necessarily the best career moves, never denying himself a big fat paycheck, either. He made Galliani his bitch over and over again, with clients like Ibra, Robinho, and Balotelli, almost singlehandedly bloating our wagebill and sucking any transfer fees out of the club again and again. Most recently, he sent clients Ibrahimovic and Pogba both to Manchester United. He doesn’t care that the club are in sixth place despite having two of the biggest players in the game. He doesn’t care that both players are having uncharacteristically poor seasons because the club was not a good fit for them. He made €25m off of Pogba’s record €105m transfer alone, and that is all he cares about.

Raiola "Cha-ching"

The reason Milan fans can’t sleep at night is the same reason no one would be sleeping if an evil super villain had kidnapped a baby and was planning to raise that baby. A 6’5” genius of a goalkeeper baby. We have to trust that his class and character, nearly as immense as his frame and his skills, will be able to overcome his super villain agent. Even if Raiola leaves well enough alone for now, he will be waiting for any excuse during any transfer window to sell his gold mine of a goalkeeper to any club with the right amount of cash. Not for Gigio. Not for football. But for a big fat paycheck.


This post inspired by the music of Nitzer Ebb’s “Blood Money”


Our next match is
Sassuolo vs. Milan
Sunday, February 26 • 15:00 CET (9am EST)