Supply and Demand is the most fundamental theory in Economics and is the backbone of a market economy. It states that price of a product is a reflection of its supply and demand. And there is no better example in football to illustrate this theory than the transfer saga of Luis Suarez.
Suarez was born in Uruguay, a nation sandwiched between the two South American powerhouses of Brazil and Argentina. In 2010, when the whole world condemned Suarez’s handball to deny Ghana a place in the semi-finals, Uruguay celebrated him as a national hero.
With the World Cup now returning to Brazil, references to the 1950 win over Brazil, also termed as ‘The Macarana Blow’ resurfaced. And to see Suarez thrown out of the world cup and Uruguay lose to an exciting Columbian team with a destined quarterfinal clash with Brazil on the cards, the country termed the whole biting incident a daylight robbery.
At the beginning of the 2013-14 season, after a successful Confederations cup, with Arsenal making a cheeky 40million plus one pound bid to activate his supposed release clause and Suarez rallying for a transfer, a highly controversial two and a half years seemed to reach the end.
But, a year later thanks to Brendon Rodgers and the owners, Suarez nearly carried Liverpool to the greatest league win in history, albeit a ‘slip’.
In the course of it, he earned himself a 200k pounds a week contract. There were also rumours of a release clause anywhere between 70million to 100million pounds inserted should the vultures from Spain descend.
With a cheerful, controversy free Suarez back, a transfer away from the Kop was not impossible but maybe improbable.
At the World Cup, his return from injury inspired Uruguay to recover from a shock loss to Costa Rica and beat England, thanks to an assist from club captain Gerrard to leave the group of death wide open.
A new manager at Barcelona wanting to invigorate the forward line and Real Madrid on the back of ‘La Decima’ an ideal situation for a bidding war to make him the most expensive transfer in football history.
But, on the 24th of June, 2014 in the 80th minute of a 0-0 group game against Italy, Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini during a set play, an action he infamously resorted to for the third time in his career.
Uruguay scored in the next minute to make it through from the group. But, the match will be notoriously remembered for the Suarez bite.
The Uruguayan coach blaming Chiellini for the incident did not make it any less clear who the real culprit was.
Luis Suarez was banned for 4 months from football related activity after he issued a laughable statement that he lost his balance and hit his teeth which led to him having a profuse pain in his cheek and teeth.
The biting incident which took place in Natal, Brazil, had an echoing effect in England. Liverpool football club had lost the services of their star striker till late October to another scandalous incident.
With rumours of a £80 million all cash deal or a 50 million plus Alexis Sanchez deal doing the rounds, Liverpool had a problem of riches. But, the latest ‘bite’ was more than it could chew.
On his arrival at the Merseyside on the back of a seven match ban for biting Otman Bakkal, Suarez had a scintillating run of controversies which would put serial offender Joey Barton to shame. Starting off with an odd dive, the Patrice Evra racism incident gave us a first real taste of his perversity.
With a CV full of dives, handballs, celebrations taunting fans and managers, Suarez looked every bit the badass he was built up to be. But, the 2013-14 season was peculiar. Being the league’s highest scorer after missing the first 5 games, to taking the likes of Sterling and Sturrdge under his wings, he was rightly in the news for his capabilities in front of goal.
A genius at most times, his nutmegs embarrassed a whole lot of defenders. His hat-trick in December against Norwich would be rated as the finest ever in the league’s history on par with his own effort in the previous year against the same team. Enough proof to make an assumption that Norwich city would be missed by fans other than their own after being relegated to the championship.
There are minor fractions in the game that sympathize with Suarez for the ban, the chief explanation offered that the probability of a bite causing more harm than an elbow to the face or a two legged challenge is minimal.
But, the real reason for such a heavy ban is because biting symbolizes cannibalism, something totally unacceptable in most modern cultures. Also, the fact that the striker showed no remorse after being guilty for the third time and his reputation would have played an equal part in the decision.
For Suarez, a chance to ply his trade away from England would be a welcome relief. The wages is no reason nor is the undivided love of the Kop.
The football in terms of style is the best in the league and with champions league in the fray; these would not be enough reasons to complain.
The main reason for a switch would be him tired of being crucified in the media. He would want to move to more sympathetic shores.
An initial attempt of which is his latest statement taking full responsibility for the incident in his effort to make a move to Barcelona, where a part of his family resides.
For Liverpool football club, the latest incident would be the tipping point. The decision of an online gaming entertainment company to cut ties with Suarez and also rumours of Adidas deciding not to renew his contract would ring alarm bells in the marketing division of LFC.
Even the likes of John Terry, whose controversies seem very mild in comparison, did not get an extension until Jose Mourinho intervened.
This underlines the change in times and growing importance of protecting the club brand over holding onto a player who does more good on the field.
With Manchester United going all guns blazing this transfer window and the burden of champions league football this season, chances of Liverpool making the top 4 this season would hang in the balance.
It is clear knowledge that a player of Suarez’s stature would not be cajoled with anything less than Champions league football and loyalty on par with Gerrard cannot be expected.
Time to sell
The decision also would involve paying him wages which would compound to anywhere between £3-4 million when he is out suspended. So, cashing in on the player and reinvesting it would be wise.
With Barcelona still interested in having the services of Suarez, it looks like a deal is imminent. With the supply side keen to strike a deal, Liverpool football club would definitely bite the bullet for a cutprice offer around £60 million.
Oh how elastic the transfer market is!
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