What’s It Worth?

January 27, 2010

Recently, I got involved in a heated discussion with Mike about the value of Carlos Tevez. Mike is of the opinion that Tevez was indeed worth the 25.5 million that Manchester City paid for him, I took the “Neville” view that Tevez is overpriced at 25.5 million.  Both our arguments are redundant in so far as Tevez is worth what somebody is prepared to pay for him, if Manchester City want to pay 25.5 million, then he’s worth that to them. Personally, it seems like a very expensive piece of gesture politics on behalf of Manchester City, but there you go.

While we were arguing, Mike made a point that I find difficult to accept, that being that if a player scores over 20 goals in a season that instantly makes him worth 20 million.  I can understand his point to the degree that if a player scores 20 premiership goals, that will probably spell the difference between mid-table mediocrity and a European campaign next season, which in turn may be worth 20 million to the club, but I fail to see how this can explain the sudden inflation of a players’ value.

Take this scenario, Nottingham Forest get promoted this season, next season, Robert Earnshaw scores 21 Premiership goals (Unlikely I know, but indulge me). Now according to Mike’s theory, Earnshaw’s value will then sky-rocket by some 18 million (at least).  This is a patently ludicrous scenario; Earnshaw isn’t worth 20 million and never will be, even if he scores 40 Premiership goals in one season.

A player’s value isn’t solely based on his performance over the last season, it’s based on his performance over his career up to that point and it’s naive to think that his value is only a reflection of what he does on the pitch. If we look at the career of David Beckham, sold to Real Madrid for 25 million, but would Madrid have bothered paying THAT much for him if he wasn’t the most famous footballer on the planet? The sheer clout of Beckham’s appeal in the Far East alone meant that Madrid were able to recoup most of the initial outlay through shirt sales alone.

So back to Tevez, is he actually worth 25.5 million? Well, as I’ve said before, that’s really for Manchester City to decide. Tevez managed roughly 1 goal every 3 games in all competitions for Manchester United (34 goals in 99 appearances, 19 of those goals are in the Premiership), so following Mike’s own logic, not even Mike thinks he’s worth 25 million. As Tevez scored roughly 10 Premiership goals per season at Manchester United, doesn’t that make Tevez worth around 12 million?