We have finally reached the point where 50% of the world’s wealth has been trousered by 1% of the population.
It seems that the rest of us can do nothing about this state of affairs rather than hope to persuade some of these billionaires to humiliate themselves by buying a football club.
For some reason, the notorious acumen of these people deserts them immediately as they start acting like a 4 year old who has just discovered Football Manager.
Take Roman Abramovich for example. The Sun in Scorpio trine the Moon in Pisces and square to Jupiter, enabled him to ruthlessly and secretively exploit the post Soviet chaos to end up owning most of Russia’s oil.
But since he bought Chelsea 12 years ago it seems he’s been trying to give it all back.
In that time, Abramovich has got rid of 9 managers at a compensation cost of £ 72m, despite them winning the Champions League and domestic doubles.
He has also spent £2 billion on transfer fees and player wages including such gems as United failure Juan Sebastian Veron, City ditto Shawn Wright Philips and Adrian Mutu who may or may not have spent most of his signing on fee on coke.
Any football fan of the time would have recognised the absurdity of these purchases, but at least Roman had the good sense to employ Jose Mourinho and sit at the back of the stand watching while the trophies rolled in.
Until he decided to blow £ 30 m on his mate Andrij Shevchenko, a clear case for the constructive dismissal of his ” special one “.
And then he topped it all by blowing £ 50 m Fernando Torres, a fact that had Liverpool fans at the time laughing all the way to the bank, until they found out that £ 35m of it had been ” reinvested ” in Andy Carroll.
There are so many examples of this kind of behaviour from club owners from QPR to Man City, but the one club that had been immune to it was United under owner Malcolm Glazer, whose only aim had been to fleece the global brand while manager Alex Ferguson kept the team as serial champions purely by scaring everyone else into submission.
However since the red bearded one died and the red nosed one was put out to pastures new, things have changed at the Theatre of Dreams.
The younger Glazers obviously fancy themselves as computer game wheeler dealers, but rather than going down the tried and trusted route of Harry Redknapp and his deadline day car window interviews, they went for the Dutch cod philosophy of Louis Van Gaal whilst appointing someone from the accounting and tax advisory department of Price Waterhouse to oversee it all.
What could possibly go wrong ?
Two summers ago, United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward looked hopelessly out of his depth as his attempts to sign Gareth Bale, Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Ander Herrera, Fabio Coentrao and Daniel De Rossi all floundered and he ended up with that bizarre idea of a midfield target man, Marouane Fellaini.
Of course much of this failure can be put down to the fact that Saturn was conjunct Woodward’s Scorpio Sun and Neptune was conjunct his Mars at the time.
But as most Scorpios, Abramovich included, are quite good at staying in the background, manipulating things and shifting the blame for their own failings onto someone else, Woodward benefited from the fact the man on the touchline with the target on his back was fall guy, David Moyes.
Moyes as a double Taurus had Saturn opposite both his Sun and Moon and was gone by the end of the season.
Leaving Woodward free to cover himself in glory the following summer. Unfortunately for him Saturn was still in Scorpio, so his targets of German World Cup winners Toni Kroos and the desperately needed centre back Mats Hummels, naturally failed to come to anything.
However the man from Price Waterhouse cheered himself up by breaking both the British transfer record with Angel di Maria and the galactic record for the most expensive and confusing loan for Radamel Falcao.
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about these two deals is that they were both gone within one season at a cost to United of £ 15 m each having scored 4 goals apiece.
Such profligacy would surely have lost Woodward his accountant’s job but not with United. The global brand and increasing TV revenues meant that it would be impossible to throw away more money than the club was earning anyway.
So fast forward to this window. Saturn is still in Scorpio but is way past Woodward’s Sun. No matter, United’s chief exec is obviously on a mission to prove the Grim Reaper has a transit orb of 15 degrees rather than the 1-2 that seems to work for everyone else.
So we’ve had the Sergio Ramos saga, a situation where the player refused to play for Madrid again while the club seemed desperate to offload him, but Woodward managed to turn the near certainty of the most expensive transfer ever for a defender into an improved contract at the Bernabeu for Ramos.
The David De Gea saga ran with a window long United refusal to countenance his sale to Madrid only for a final day volte face and desperate attempt to offload him only for them being unable to sort out the papers in time.
But this is the kind of thing that happens when people in the admin department get so used to transfers failing to materialise, they spend deadline day photocopying each others bottoms instead.
Capricorn Research does feel justified in saying that he was the only person in the world who predicted back in June that de Gea’s transfer would not happen this summer.
So Woodward has managed to achieve the worst of all possible results, to lose out on a £ 25m transfer fee for someone who will leave next summer for nothing, while retaining the services of a seriously pissed off goalkeeper to go along with the other one who’s been made to train with the youth team for offences against LVG’s philosophy.
One sensible move was the attempt to sign Thomas Muller from Bayern for somewhere in the region of 100 million Euros. Given that Muller has Jupiter conjunct his Sun this season, it would have been worth every penny, but Woodward’s attempts succeeded only in giving a number of Bavarian ex footballers a good laugh.
Then of course there’s the Pedro saga, who United courted for most of the summer only to be beaten to it by Jose Mourinho, who took all of 5 minutes to realise that sacking the club’s doctor would not be enough of a distraction from the early season mauling inflicted by Man City.
Woodward’s response to this failure was that he was actually in Barcelona trying to set up a much bigger deal than Pedro. Cue newspaper speculation that United were actually making a play for Neymar, followed by much louder laughs at the Nou Camp than had been heard at the Allianz Arena, not least from the player himself who managed to extract the promise of a double your wages, 5 year deal from his club on the back of it.
But it actually turns out that Woodward’s flight to Spain was a cunning deception after all. He was really after an even bigger name ( at least if you count the number of letters involved ), 19 year old Monaco legend Anthony Martial.
This deadline day signing had most people tweeting who and wtf, which had the advantage of saving 137 characters for the opinions about the De Gea fiasco.
No doubt Woodward expected the financial details of the most expensive teenager since Justin Bieber to be cushioned by the De Gea income. But he has still maintained that Scorpionic skill of manipulating events in a way that you don’t get blamed for them.
The fact that the transfer window ended just as everyone was off for two weeks of international duty, was a godsend for United. Not only was David de Gea seen doing all his scowling on his way into the Spanish training centre, but everyone’s attention was deflected onto Wayne Rooney’s attempts to score twice against the mighty San Marino to prove himself to be the greatest ever Englishman.
But Capricorn Research is not put off so easily. Martial’s fee of 50 million Euros apparently has some interesting add ons. There’s another €10m when he plays his 25th game, €10m more when he gets his 10th cap with the French national team and €10m if he finishes in the top 20 list of best players in Europe.
Given that he’s only 19, he’s got plenty of time to rack up a transfer fee of £ 80m, but this is one area where Ed Woodward’s accounting skills help to get him off the hook.
Most successful businesses employ accountants to shuffle their expenses around from one year to another to maximise the benefits to their own business and minimise the tax due.
Woodward is clearly brilliant at this because by signing a player with Saturn about to conjunct his Sun for most of this year and Neptune square it for the next 3 years, there’s no danger of having to pay any of these add ons for a while.
By that time our Ed will be hoping United will have made further transfer howlers that will make everyone forget this one. Capricorn Research is not so sure.
Anthony Martial has his Sun natally square a Piscean Saturn so these transits could have an even bigger negative impact than usual. In the future his very name could be synonymous with transfer failings.
No doubt United will continue to earn a fortune for the Glazer family despite haemorrhaging millions each summer. And no doubt the long line of billionaires queuing up to have their own go at footie transfers will continue.
In fact, despite placing a small wager on it, Capricorn Research is desperately hoping Donald Trump’s staggering Jupiter transits next year don’t end up with him as US President. Perhaps instead they would result in him buying Everton and splurging his fortune trying to re-establish the famous ” school of science “.
Or perhaps the football world would wake up to reality and seek some guidance from the ” school of astrology ” through future transfer windows.
Capricorn Research hopes not as its much more fun watching them all these billionaires suffer under Martial law.