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tv   Inside Story  LINKTV  August 10, 2021 5:30am-6:01am PDT

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♪ >> you are watching al jazeera. a reminder of our top stories. leaders and environmentalists have reacted with alarm to a u.n. scientific report on the scale of the climate emergency. it says there is no longer any doubt that human activity is warming the planet. it warns some impact is irreversible. >> first, it tells us it is indisputable that human activities are causing climate change and making extreme weather events more frequent and severe. second, it shows that climate
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change is affecting every region on our planet. lastly, it explains that strong, rapid, sustained reductions in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions will be required to limit global warming. anchor: greece's prime minister has apologized for failing to properly tackle devastating fires across the country. he is being -- critics say the government should have been underprepared. the taliban has captured its six provincial capital since friday as afghanistan's military struggles. it is the capital of a northern province. hundreds of thousands of afghans have fled their homes since the group began an offensive inmate as the u.s. began withdrawing the last of its forces. the president of ella roos has told western -- of belarus has told western powers to choke.
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this coincides with the anniversary of lukashenko's disputed win. coronavirus cases and hospital admissions across the u.s. have reached a six-month high, fueled by the spread of the delta variant. the number of new infections reported has reached 100,000 for three days in a row, a 35% spike compared to last week. several large-scale summer events have been canceled because of the rise in cases, including the new orleans jazz festival. back with more news and half an hour. next is "inside story." stay with us. ♪
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>> one of all's biggest -- football's biggest names is leaving barcelona because the spanish club cannot afford to keep him. have football or become too expensive and what will messi's departure mean for the sport? this is "inside story." welcome to the program. lionel messi and barcelona's long history together is over. the argentinian was barely a teenager when he joined the club, rising to become one of the world's best players. he is also one of the most expensive, earning an estimated $10 million per month. ultimately, the partnership ended because of money. the club said keeping the
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starwood means spending more than 110% of revenue on salaries . messi is likely to move to paris, to play alongside some other big names. first, this report from david stokes. david: messi started crying before he started speaking at his fellow where -- farewell ceremony. he confirmed he was leaving and was given a standing ovation by the media and several teammates, past and present. >> in these last few days, i was taking about what i would say today, to be honest, i could not come up with anything. i was blocked like right now. i was convinced i would stay. >> thousands of fans gathered to say goodbye to their hero, who joined them 21 years ago at the age of 13. he has won 35 titles, scored a
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682 goals and crowned the world's best player an unprecedented six times. messi had agreed to take a pay cut to stay but barcelona still cannot get work. they say because of salary cap rules in the spanish league. >> i cannot talk for the club. the president said they cannot renew my contract. i can only say i did everything possible to stay here. >> now without a club or contract, messi the most sought after free agent in history. paris st. germain are favorites to sign him for a reported already $5 million per season. -- $35 million per season. it is not the end of his career. the argentinian says he will continue competing as long as he can. david stokes, al jazeera. anchor: the pandemic is biting into the finances of european football clubs.
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barcelona lost $117 million in revenue last year, bringing its total debt to an estimated $1.4 billion. most of that came from renewing stadiums and overpaying players. salaries have increased more than 200% the year 2000. barcelona has the best paid team in the world. the average salary last year was $9.8 million. european clubs can afford paying that much by selling merchandise and broadcasting rights. in the early 1990's, the english premier league sold tv rights for nearly $280 million. last year, that increased to $7 billion. let's bring in our guests. in liverpool, a football finance lecturer. and in barcelona, spain correspondent for millennia tv. and come ahead and cofounder for
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the football observatory at the international center for sports studies. thank you for joining us. could you have ever imagined that all of this would have played out the way it has? >> it doesn't seem to have been very political. -- does seem to have been very political. i think everybody thought there would be a last-minute reprieve that would have enabled messi to stay at our salon a but it appears the application of legal rules has been enforced and that left the club with no alternative but to effectively release him from his contract and allow him to take his career elsewhere. anchor: jennifer, from your vantage point in barcelona, what are the fans thinking and feeling right now? are they simply sad? are they angry about how this went down? >> yeah, yesterday i talked to the fans and they are sad,
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disappointed, angry. they have been hearing for weeks that they have a deal close. in one day, they don't have it and it has all changed. people have started to not trust when messi cries like that. when he says he doesn't know if the club did it all. and he did not ask him to have more of a chance. we need to remember that the speech was the continue of messi , and i think supporters, they start to see with other eyes.
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that is the thing i saw yesterday. anchor: does this essentially all boil down to barcelona giving up its star player to try to repair its finances? >> certainly, finance there. the mother of money. not only messi, but the most to salaries of any other club. they are heavily in debt. unfortunately for them, they had to get rid of this superstar. they tried to get rid of other players before, but they had contracts, not the case for messi. they had to surrender to this direction. anchor: does cutting messi loose automatically help with barcelona's debt load? >> it does in the sense that
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they knock off ongoing salaries that have to be made. but the severity of the cuts and economic cost control, in terms of our salon's ability to pay wages and the next -- barcelona's ability to pay wages over the next 12 months is to forget and it has effectively made barcelona competitive with the premier league. barcelona are used to being at the top table. it will reduce costs, but how do you replace messi? you've got to spend money to have players of a high caliber and it is difficult to see how barcelona can do that under the present cost control measures. anchor: jennifer, who ultimately bears the most responsibility for what happened? barcelona, the legal or -- the league or messi? >> first of all, the club's
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economy [indiscernible] he rejected a spanish league offer. [indiscernible] of course, the duty of the president of the club is to fix that. the reality is that they have not enable to get players to lower salaries. and also can reach an agreement with the players to be in the club. it was complicated like this to sign a contract. the spanish league starts in the weekend and it is impossible to
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do this in one week, i think. all the points have a lot of -- sorry -- a lot in this case. anchor: obviously this is all quite complicated and there are a lot of variables in play. barcelona's president had said they are trying to keep -- messi could have put the club at risk for 50 years. i am sure a lot of viewers are sort of scratching their heads and say how is that possible? how is it possible that keeping the star player could put the club at risk for that many years? >> it is a very strange situation. barcelona was really at the top. but of course, as i said before, they have to pay good wages and
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a lot of wages, not only to messi but other players. all of these players were transferred for more than 100 million euros each. you can see that barcelona was very keen to develop young players. that is the real advantage for them. and messi himself. but then they have this policy and unfortunately for them, they made some very bad transfers that now have more than messi probably. these players are there and they have to pay them and messi will
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adjust. they did not anticipate this situation. also there is tension between the former ownership and the new one to be taken into account. anchor: what can be used to justify the extraordinarily high salaries of superstars like messi? is it simply supply and demand, the market place, or is it marquee players ring in viewers and that impacts tv deals going forward? >> ultimately, the ability of a football club to spend money is determined by its ability to generate money. that comes from three sources. ticket sales, which in barcelona has always in high, they were hit by the pandemic. commercial deals, and then broadcasting rights. the players sell the broadcasting rights because they are the people people want to
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turn into -- tune into, and also their faces. therefore, you could argue the salaries are justified, providing the clubs are breaking even. we see huge salaries and other areas of sport, especially in the u.s., and that is accepted as part of the game. the problem with football is it has been caught out by covid and i think the clubs such as barcelona and real madrid, who had anchor on the success of the super league franchise, had a problem when that collapsed because it left them with income lower than anticipated. anchor: if i can follow up on a point you were making about covid -- how much has the coronavirus pandemic impacted all of this. how much more fragile is the economic situation for european clubs as a result of covid-19? >> it varies from country to country. it is linked very much to the
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individual tv deals. we look at the premier league in england, because it has the biggest tv deal, it was less subject to problems caused by covid. in other countries, especially france, has seen its tv deal effectively scrapped and replaced by one of a lower magnitude, i think clubs there have been hit more severely. as far as spain is concerned, re-almond rid -- real madrid and barcelona could generate huge sums of money not only from match day tickets but because the stadiums are magnificent and they generate on non-match days as well. people attending matches and conferences was a huge source of revenue. anchor: jennifer, you also wanted to reply to that question about covid-19. >> i just wanted to say it is
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hugely affecting spanish football, and we see in all of the clubs, that is the way presidents start fighting to save one part of the economy of these clubs. anchor: is all of this a sign that essentially european football has become too expensive? >> for the last two or three decades, there was record growth of the revenues of clubs. the globalization of the game, new markets. even southeastern asia.
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this brought a big momentum for the demand of european football. there were signs that the inflation for the biggest leagues and clubs, we are in the situation where i think the maximum was reached, or at least stagnation. the younger generation was perhaps less interested in the football, or less interested to pay money to see football. this impacts clubs also beyond covid, although covid was also an aggravating factor. anchor: when we have these types of discussions around football, ultimately many people say what
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is going on when it comes to salaries, cost increases, that it highlights a growing disconnect between the big business of sport and these communities of sports fans around the world. kids in various countries kicking a ball around, aspiring to be like their heroes. ultimately, who owns football? >> ultimately it is owned by the fans in the sense that if there is a genuine disconnect, the fans will stop buying the merchandise and stop attending the matches and paying tv subscriptions. but while i don't think there is a lot of growth, and it could be said we reached peak interest, it doesn't necessarily say that interest will fall. if you look at most matches in europe, once crowds can return, i think they will still sell out the clubs and individual leaks. and the idea that football is
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starting to be a dying sport is a myth. you've only got to look at the number of young people who are buying kits, who are playing football at school and the youth level and that is being maintained and it could be argued it is becoming a more diverse game because certainly there is far more interest in women's football and we are seeing players from all over the world to play their trade, especially in europe and in asia as well. there is no reason why that cannot continue. it is a competitive market, but there's no reason why football cannot compete it is ultimately the world's favorite sport. anchor: jennifer, when you speak to the fans as you've been doing the past several days, do they believe business is ruining sport, that big business is ruining football? or are they ok with the way things are going? >> no, it is not the way he
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thinks it will be football in the future, because they don't want to see all of these games like the champions league in some places that they have less players to win some cups and make the players happy to make these kinds of tricks. the fans think it is too much. they have spent a lot of money. this championship, these cups,
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it is a lot of money to see his team or players like messi. all of this is like more industry that football can be. anchor: what are the implications for football going forward if messi does as expected and signs with paris st. germain? >> it would be a great team. it is an incredible set up. so football fans can enjoy it in advance because they are incredible champions. now, of course, it's not always the best. on paper it is the best but you have other teams competing, including barcelona.
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they are losing their star player but things are going very good. probably they will -- they already have some young talents. they are performing well. the new generation is there. we see messi is already 34. on paper they say paris st. germain is the team to be beaten. but we will see. now it will be time to play the games and see who is really the best. anchor: there was an announcement made that there was to be a massive private equity investment by the private equity firm cvc. they wanted to invest into la liga. many thought that investment
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would help ensure barcelona have the money it needed to keep messi, but barcelona's of the deal was not in its interests. why the objections to that? >> i think the objection is twofold. first of all, under the terms of the deal, only a relatively small portion of the money from cvc could be allocated to player wages and it would not be addressing the player cost issues that exist at barcelona. the second reason is barcelona believed the deal vastly undervalues la liga in the present form, and also it could resent some form of constraint in terms of barcelona's continued desires for the super league franchise project to work. which they believe will concentrate money and power in the hands of the clubs behind super league. they would want to keep 100% of those profits rather than giving 10% to a third party. anchor: jennifer, there is a
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perception among some that are salon a perhaps through in the towel too quickly and maybe they should have pressured la liga more to keep messi. from what you hear from the fans, do they believe barcelona acted down -- backed down to quickly -- too quickly? >> no. the fans think that messi isn't to be in barcelona the next seasons. [indiscernible] -- that messi is going to sign contracts for two years and then go to the united states. it is a surprise.
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the spanish league starts this weekend. they need to present the first team and sign all of the papers with la liga. it is difficult to know in this case for the fans, if it is the best way to protect barcelona's economy or not. all of the money that messi wins to the club is too important. in this case, it is going to compete with barcelona if he goes to psg.
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it is going to be a good team for paris. [indiscernible] -- barcelona fans to win another champion. they are not happy with the actual team. it needs another star, it needs a messi in his field. anchor: all right, we have run out of time and we will have to leave it there. thank you to our guests. thank you for watching. you can see this in all of our previous programs anytime i visiting our website. for further discussion, go to our facebook page. you can also join the conversation on twitter. fermi and the whole team -- for me and the whole team, goodbye.
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♪ ñvvvrzozozozozoñ
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... ♪♪♪ emma alberici: in india, 1.3 billion people have been told to stay home. but what if home looks like this? could lockdown be more dangerous than the virus? ♪♪♪

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