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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The difficulty of disciplining footballers

The Guardian have a story about Robinho's walking out of Manchester City's training camp in Tenerife the other day. The first bit goes:
Robinho reacted to the collapse of Kaka's proposed £91m deal by packing his suitcase and arranging for a private jet to take him back to Brazil
I'm trying to picture this. Are we to believe that Robinho packed an overnight bag, arranged his bed so that it looked as if he was still sleeping, escaped from the hotel via the fire escape and took a cab to the airport where a jet was waiting to whisk him to Sao Paulo? But that doesn't strain credibility so much as the response of City's chairman to the incident.
However, Cook confirmed Robinho had not received consent to go, describing the player's behaviour as "very disappointing" and confirming that he would be fined.
How can you fine somebody who takes private jets on a whim? That's the problem. When it comes to discipline football clubs have no sticks but an unlimited supply of carrots. Bet they end up paying him more money to come back.