Belfast Telegraph

Gareth Bale: £100m not that obscene, relatively speaking

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With James Tait

The words 'immoral' and 'obscene' are just two that have been used to describe Real Madrid's persistence to pay out a world record-busting transfer fee to land Gareth Bale.

The spendthrift club have already broken the world transfer record four times since the Millennium – £37m on Luis Figo, £45.6m on Zinedine Zidane, £56.1m on Kaka and, of course, £80m on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Now, they seem willing to spend a fee believed to be in the region of £100m during a time when Spain is being crippled by recession.

To put it into perspective, the current Spanish unemployment rate is 26%. That figure rises to 56% when only youth unemployment is taken into account.

The debate is that Real shouldn't be spending vast amounts of money while the majority of the population suffers.

However, you have to look at how much money Bale can generate. Shirt sales, public appearances and success on the pitch will easily recoup Real's expenditure. And then some.

The same happened when Cristiano Ronaldo arrived. In this sense, £100m is not such a big amount in the greater picture.

Especially when you weigh it up against the billions of pounds that huge multinationals are seemingly allowed to keep in 'avoided' tax in the UK.

Meanwhile, the spending cuts on crucial bodies such as the NHS goes on unabated – while MPs vote themselves a hefty payrise.

Now, some might say that is immoral and obscene...

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