Jonathan Barnett (71) was THE man for the mega transfers this summer.
The Brit not only brought top talent Eduardo Camavinga (18 / for 31 million euros) to Real Madrid at the last second – he also made the record transfer of Jack Grealish (25) for an unbelievable 117 million euros from Aston Villa to Manchester City he a.
In BILD, the star consultant reveals how Corona has changed the transfer market, why the Bundesliga needs a reform in order not to be left behind by the Premier League and with which revolutionary idea he would like to make football more exciting for the fans.
BILD: Mr. Barnett, was this transfer summer with Ronaldo, Messi and Grealish as protagonists the craziest you have ever experienced?
Jonathan Barnett: “Maybe towards the end it was the most exciting I have experienced. Crazy but not at all. It was a more careful transfer window, yes. There weren’t that many deals. But the ones that were completed were better planned and more professional. That was expressed in the fact that the players got their changes over the stage with top advisors, while the players who take advice from their mum or other family members often do not. “
Were there any special features due to Corona?
Barnett: “The clubs weren’t looking for middle-class players, they just wanted the best. It was the transfer summer of top transfers like Grealish or Ronaldo. Quality over quantity. Of course, the market was different in each country. The Premier League had some money, Italy and Germany didn’t. The clubs had to take a lot into account and be very careful because of their difficult financial situation. And I think they did very well. “
There were many big loan deals like that of superstar Antoine Griezmann (30) to Atlético. The ultimate trick of the summer to get big names despite Corona?
Barnett: “No trick, a chance! Many big clubs couldn’t afford to buy the players they wanted. But they could get them on loan. That was a big difference this year. “
The Premier League clubs spent more money this summer (€ 1.34 billion) than Serie A, LaLiga and the Bundesliga combined. Is there a crazy inflation in the English market or does that look to the future of all leagues?
Barnett: “What’s crazy about that? The Premier League has this money because the best teams play there, which in turn brings in big TV money. If you don’t have any stars and therefore you don’t have the best football on the pitch, you don’t get that kind of money. “
Many stars only went to England when the big investors got on there with a lot of money …
Barnett: “And the success for the investors is obvious and proven! Football is the greatest sport in the world and is watched more than anything else around the globe. The fans want to see the best and the sponsors want to sponsor the best. Those who can offer that can generate the corresponding money. That’s only natural. “
Do you think the Bundesliga will have to open up to investors in order to remain competitive on an international level?
Barnett: “Naturally! I think the Bundesliga should lift its 50 + 1 rule. You should be in a competitive market to stay competitive in the field. This rule is old and affects the standard of German football. With Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga has a team that wins the championship every year. Do you think the fans want to see something like this? Or do you think you would like to see other teams challenge Bavaria? The Bundesliga would get more fans and sponsors and thus more TV money. The proof: Wherever in the world you talk about football – at the moment only the Premier League is talked about. There they have six teams that could possibly win the league in any other country. “
So the future doesn’t look bright for LaLiga and the Bundesliga?
Barnett: “I think LaLiga will overcome the difficulties of this pandemic and get strong again. I’m not sure about the rules of the Bundesliga because of their rules. That is and will be a problem for German football. A few years ago, especially when the German national team was strong, many players wanted to join the Bundesliga. Today, on the other hand, most Germans want to play in the Premier League. “
To the transfers. Are big deals like Grealishs or last-minute transfers like Camavinga’s more difficult?
Barnett: “The big deals are far tougher! They have to be prepared so well and every single step has to be done correctly, with caution. And it is important not to waste the time of the most important men in the industry. Unfortunately, I can’t go into any further detail about such transfers … Deadline deals? Either they work or they don’t. By the way: Big clubs don’t deliberately wait until shortly before the end to make transfers. This often happens because plan A doesn’t work and it takes time to work out a good plan B. “
So was Camavinga’s real move a plan B?
Barnett: “Not at all! It may seem like it was a last-second option for Real, but it wasn’t. Eduardo still had one year of contract in Rennes and was therefore in no hurry. When Real came around the corner, however, it was an opportunity he couldn’t refuse. “
Arsenal legend Arsène Wenger (71) thinks that the summer transfer window should close before the start of all top leagues. Your opinion?
Barnett: “Arsène is wrong. I disagree with these windows. I think transfers should be possible non-stop all year round. We tried that with the earlier transfer deadline here in England and we ran into a lot of problems. There shouldn’t be just two windows where everything is done in a hurry and clubs don’t have time to organize. And most importantly: 365 days of the transfer market would make football more exciting for the fans. “