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Lorenzo Vicini On June - 22 - 2011

Pastore: Prized Palermo Player Or Prized Purchase?

“I prefer to close out the season, remembering that, according to what we’ve said to the president, I will surely remain at Palermo next year as well.”

These were the words spoken by Palermo starlet Javier Pastore towards the end of last season. Naturally, the talented trequartista was continually asked throughout the entire season whether or not he would be moving on, and each time he provided a similar response. Javier wanted one more year with the Rosanero before a switch to a big club. Yet, as the transfer window draws closer to opening, Pastore’s future with the Sicilian club seems all but settled.

Why would a player who has professed his desire to remain at a club suddenly not be considered certain to stay? Well, when said club is run by Maurizio Zamparini, it all begins to make sense. The Palermo president has a track record of selling off budding stars in order to turn a profit and invest in more uncovered gems.

Zamparini has certainly changed his tune on Pastore. During the season, the Palermo patron emphatically stated that his prized player would not leave the club at least not for another year or two. However, as the season drew to a close, the brash president placed a price out for Pastore – one that continually changed seemingly based on how he felt that morning. Forty, fifty, even sixty million for his services, Zamparini even once claimed that his own previously mentioned sum of €40 million would only be enough to buy El Flaco’s right boot!

After all, Zamparini went from outright refusal to apparent reluctance to sell the player. Delving into the psyche of Maurizio Zamparini is a tricky affair, yet there may be reasons for his sudden reversal. Perhaps the president wants to get a lucrative return for his prized possession, especially with UEFA’s new Financial Fair Play rules weighing on clubs’ minds. The belief would be that a Pastore sale would be at its peak now rather than when clubs must curb their spending in order to abide by the new regulations.

Another, darker theory is that Zamparini wants to sell Pastore in order to remain the sole attention-grabbing figure at the club. It sounds sinister, but the suggestion may have some support behind it. When Luca Toni grabbed headlines, Zamparini shockingly sold him off for a bargain price, when adored players like Eugenio Corini and Amauri were earning all the love and affection of the fans, the president sold them away.

Even this past season, when Zamparini promised a long future with Palermo’s most successful coach Delio Rossi, a rife appeared out of the blue. Rossi had endeared himself to the Palermo faithful so much so that perhaps Zamparini’s main complaint with his coach was one borne out of jealousy. Now, he has a player with an incredible wealth of talent and true superstar potential, but despite the player’s desire to stay, Zamparini is seeking to sell. The need to be number one could be the unspoken reason for Pastore’s departure.

Ultimately though, the price tag set at €50 million comes down to getting a good return on Zamparini’s investment. In a recent look at the original purchase of Pastore by Palermo, an interesting clause revealed a stipulation installed by the player’s agent (and company, Sportime Intern) about any future sale: “The purchase price could increase by an amount equal to 50% of the consideration of a possible, future sale.”

Basically, what that would mean is that if Pastore were sold for 50 million, only 25 of that would go to Palermo. If he were sold for €40 million, then 20 would go to Palermo. Therefore, the fluctuating price surrounding Pastore is not necessarily due to the whims of an old man.

Zamparini is certifiably crazy, but in the case of Pastore’s value, he is just being a good businessman. In the end, whether or not Pastore goes, the Palermo president wants to make sure that his club comes out ahead.

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