Just when are the authorities going to hammer Barca?

By Avenell Dave
 
I stand by what I've said.
 
Cesc is letting others do his talking for him and hedging his bets.
 
He wants to return to Barcelona and not many can blame him.
 
He is a national hero, one of the greatest players to wear the Arsenal shirt and wants to change domestic bronze medals for gold.
 
A footballer's career is short and if I were him, I'd want significant team investment or I'd be wanting to leave.
 
But by hedging his bets, how can he fully be committed to Arsenal - and as captain that is the bear minimum we should expect.
 
I never want to see any Arsenal player leave until we decide they should go - and that should be when their fitness and effectiveness has waned beyond reasonable usage.
 
Look at M*nure - Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes may not always be first choice but they have the club in their hearts and still show moments of brilliance that can lift the team when the youngsters are struggling.
 
The fact is, even though they have had lean spells and injuries, they did a job that has helped the club win trophies.
 
Imagine if we'd kept Gilberto, Vieira and Pires, to name just three? They would still have done a job.
 
Without Fabregas, we lose one of three matchwinners in our squad - Arshavin and RvP being the other two - and he will have to be replaced.
 
But the bigger issue here is why the authorities are doing nothing about Barcelona's behaviour.
 
I've lived in latin countries before and normal rules don't apply.
 
Presidents and officials come out with the sort of statements that would get them disrepute charges in England but provoke no disciplinary action in Spain or Italy.
 
But Barca is a special case, perhaps too special.
 
We all know how magical the football is that they play, the power and passion at the Nou Camp. Few sides can match them on their day. Pure entertainment.
 
But being classy on the pitch doesn't mean being classy of it, as we've seen again this summer.
 
They've shown Arsenal no respect and are getting away with it.
 
Let's be honest, it suits them to let their players speak about Cesc, helping to remind him how much he's adored in his home town.
 
By contrast I haven't seen a single Arsenal player speak of how much Cesc should stay in North London, and even if one or two have, it's not with the ferocity of their Barca counterparts.
 
Why would Barca gag their players from helping to unsettle their rivals?
 
UEFA have indicated that clubs are going to have to live within their means in a couple of years or they will not be permitted to enter European competitions.
 
Somehow I suspect Barca and maybe Real Madrid will be allowed to bend and stretch the rules.
 
The Champions League without two of its most important and attractive sides is not as valuable to sponsors or the media. Who cares what the rules are?
 
But until someone at UEFA shows some cojones and punishes Barca for their blatant tapping up or financial mismanagement, what is the point of having any rules in place?
 
So come on, M. Platini. Think big picture and enforce the integrity of the game or your legacy will be no different to any other major football administrator, cow-towing to the biggest clubs at the expense of the true values of the game.