Gareth Bale and the ring of truth

It's 5 o'clock in the morning and the Bale situation rankles so I'll post my initial uncoordinated ramblings, which not having had enough tea yet may not flow but leap about a bit.

Let me start by thinking back to last summer and what I was posting on my Facebook Fan page, Tottenham Memorabilia.

I wrote that the minimum requirement was top 4, without which Bale would leave. For AVB to be considered a success he has to finish in the top 4, that is the target Levy has set, nothing else will do.

That basically summed it up.

After 3 games I wrote a very critical article and how even at that early stage things had to change. The tactic of taking off Defoe and Lennon to bring on defensive players to hold a lead, was a chalkboard theory that didn't work in practice. If continued it would cost us Champions League football and Gareth Bale.

We made subtle changes, missed by many but they were there and evolved as the season went on.

One part of that has been proven to be right and the second is now a possibility.

Andre Villas-Boas turned Gareth Bale into a superstar in half a season, he turned Hulk into the most sought after striker last summer, the man makes a habit of it, let's hope he does it with Chadli. Having been turned into a worldwide superstar and given him income opportunities beyond his expectations, it is disappointing that Bale now seems to think he shouldn't even give us a season of that superstar status.

It's safe to say Real Madrid are not on the Christmas card list for Spurs fans. Their campaign to get Luca Modric and try to make him force a move was not pleasant, now we have the same again.

Through their mouthpiece, Marca, they have fed stories for the British press to pick up on and spread over here. The word Bale sells papers so our media lap it up.

Madrid through Zidane say they have a good relationship with Spurs and will do everything in the correct manner. Well that is a blatant lie. To blackmail a player, as they appear to have done, is the lowest of the low. You come now or you never come at all is what is suggested they have told him, the aim obvious, get him to force a move, a tactic that appears to be working.

A minor injury where he didn't play against Colchester as a precaution on 19 July. It is now 29 July and he still hasn't played in two more games. You could say you didn't want to risk him on a terrible pitch but one thing sticks out like a sore thumb here and for me gives credibility to all these stories, apart from AVB no longer wanting to talk about Bale.

Where was Gareth Bale in Hong Kong?

You are in a massive market where you want to maximise your brand exposure, not only does your greatest marketing asset not play, but against South China he stayed in the dressing room. Would you at least not show him to the people, sign some autographs etc? There is a worldwide TV audience watching wanting to see him and he doesn't want to be seen in Spurs colours.

Think about it, have you seen one PR story or photo opportunity with Gareth Bale while Spurs were in Hong Kong, because I don't recall one. Google "Gareth Bale in Hong Kong" and nothing comes up, not in Google UK.

That does not make any commercial sense, that rings alarm bells. In a market we want to sell to, he wasn't selling us.

There seems to be one man getting away scott free in all this at the moment, Gareth Bale's agent Jonathan Barrett. He has constantly been popping up on Spanish radio and TV broadcasts saying Bale would listen to offers from Real Madrid, that he loves them etc. He has been feeding them and Gareth Bale hasn't stopped him.

His latest, for it can only have come from him, is to feed Marca the Gareth Bale Daniel Levy civilized chat over a cup of tea contents. Cue stories of Bale furious and wanting to leave now. What does Barrett want? Does he want Bale to move now or does he know he'll move next summer and is trying to get Spurs to pay his boy £200,000 a week and not £150,000?

His lack of marketing the club in Asia tells me he wants out, that the stories are true, his head has been turned, Real Madrid's tactics have worked.

At the start of last season I felt £50 million was his price tag which rose to £60 million half way through the season and now is a world record figure.

If Bale goes Champions League becomes a doubt, which costs us £40 million and sets our development back again. If Bale goes we lose worldwide exposure and the commercial benefits that brings, he is a sponsors dream. What figure do you place on that? Because they have to be factored into any transfer fee.

The fee for Bale is not about footballing ability alone, but the commercial opportunities he brings. David Beckham was a commercial godsend to every club he went to. Real Madrid's income soared when he was there and Cristiano Ronaldo has taken on that mantle, next in line is Gareth Bale.

If you start to look at his transfer in those terms, in what Real Madrid gain and what we lose, then his price goes through the roof, any negotiation should reflect that so the suggestion from one ITK'er that they have been quoted 150 million doesn't surprise me. I would ask is that EUR or pounds.

I think we are in a dogfight to keep him, I really do.

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