To quote a wise man or two - 'Well, ain't this a motherfucker!?' Pardon my French but it's quite apt, I promise you. In case you haven't heard, don't follow football (Americans refer to it as soccer) or just don't give a damn, a cataclysm has occurred. The world record transfer fee has been broken or maybe nuked should be the description. Neymar Junior or just Neymar is moving club's from FC Barcelona to Paris Saint Germain (PSG). To describe this transfer in metaphor, one has to capture the surprising brutality. Imagine if someone walked up to you and said they fancy something you hold precious - a wife, husband, child, car, house etc. And in jest you told them it'd cost them X amount. A few weeks later, that person returns with X amount and says 'Gimme!'
£198m problems and watch is one
So that's the problem for FC Barcelona and how they lost arguably the world's third best player after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. PSG were given a price via a termination clause in the contract and it was met. And the heir apparent of Barcelona, the clown prince to the King Messi and the Arch-Duke Luis Suarez, was packing his bags for the city of lights and love. Neymar loves Barcelona. He said so. It must be painful to move. That he is getting £520,000 a week helps sooth the pain I suppose. But what does all of this have to do with watches??
Well, I'm only speculating but with proper facts, so it's plausible.
Neymar is now the central figure at PSG which in turn is a club heavily linked to Swiss bling brand Hublot. So you'd be thinking that the big boss at Hublot (and Tag Heuer and Zenith) Jean Claude Biver would be salivating to market Neymar. But unfortunately, Neymar already has a tie up with a watch brand - Gaga Milano.
He's tied to them until 2020. And if you're thinking to yourself that someone, either Hublot or PSG will buy out the contract, you're probably right. But here's the thing - A. Does Neymar want to be associated with Hublot since he hand picked the Milan watch brand, liking its style? B. How much is this going to cost? As unlike football contracts, I'm guessing that a termination clause does exist somewhere in the documents but likely says it has to be mutual etc etc.
The next Mourinho is Neymar?
All this is peanuts in the big picture. But we're a watch site and you're watch fans and this is our peanut, damnit! And unfortunately for Hublot, this isn't the first football mess they've encountered. Remember when Jose Mourinho joined Manchester United? He was a very visible personality for Hublot and then came United and the Mancunian club is sponsored by Tag Heuer. So two Biver companies but a contractual mess. Mourinho can't actively endorse his association with Hublot or at the very least, it's all gone very quiet.
So Neymar then becomes the next bit contract stymy for Hublot which is a shame. I'm waiting for the day the fees are set and the cash is paid and Neymar can go wild with a Big Bang UNICO of his choice (he has several already!) The player and the watch brand could be a match made in heaven. I'm not saying that that Gaga Milano isn't but Hublot's warchest for marketing is quite frightening! And besides, PSG would want to milk this for all it's worth. They're out £198 million for the transfer and a further £200 million for Neymar's wages. This means that the FFP rules (to ensure clubs only spend what they earn) are almost certainly going to be broken. UEFA could actually kick PSG out of the Champions Leagues if it wanted to but before that, let's see how everything plays out.