Sometimes when you look at a crime and a punishment they don’t match up at all, and this could not be more truthful in the case of the fine that Barcelona have received for their actions whilst approaching Antoine Griezmann before his move to the club.
The Spanish Federation have judged that Barcelona broke the rules by talking to Griezmann without the permission of his club at the time Atletico Madrid. Bizarrely, the Spanish giants have been fined a total of 300 euros for this move, which is absolute peanuts in comparison to the cost that they actually paid to sign the play this summer.
While the Federation have found Barcelona guilty, and they have given them a punishment in the form of a fine, this is nothing that will prevent Barcelona or any other club from attempting to speak to people in the future, in fact, it could actually encourage it to happen more now that teams know how small the fines are for doing it.
The problem here is with the ruling that is in place. The only other possible punishment that the Spanish Federation could have given Barcelona was to force them to play one game in the league behind close doors. This would obviously have hit them hard in the pocket, much more than this fine does but the Federation agreed that their actions were not bad enough to warrant this stronger punishment.
What is lacking for the Federation is a way of assigning fines to clubs based on the value of the player they have tried to sign, or in this case, successfully signed. Barca paid 120 million Euros for Griezmann, and compared to that, the sum of 300 Euros is nothing.
What Did Barcelona Actually Do?
The whole disagreement started off because Atletico Madrid alleged that Barcelona spoke to Antoine Griezmann and convinced him to sign with them before they officially approach the club. This is not how transfers work, to approach a player who is under contract somewhere you must first ask his club for permission.
The key here, and the reason that Barcelona didn’t do this is all down to the release clause in Griezmann’s contract. This stood at 200 million Euros when it is believed that Barcelona made contact with Griezmann and agreed a deal with him. However, it wasn’t until the summer when Barcelona officially approached Atletico, when Griezmann’s release clause had dropped down to 120 million Euros, saving Barcelona a lot of money.
All the club did was tell Griezmann to not sign a new deal with Atletico and sit tight, because the Catalan club would be making their move for him when the price tag was lowered. As soon as the lower price came into play, Barcelona did things by the book and approached Atletico in the right manner to get their player.
This story is more than just about the rule breaking. This is about the punishments available to be given out. These need looking at and bringing in line with the valuation of the player in some way to give a fairer fine to those who are found guilty.