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Corinthians Might Be Involved With The Mafia, Kia Joorabchian, Or Arthur Andersen

Earlier today, reports surfaced that Corinthians, the Brazilian giants whom Carlos Tevez once played for, made a £35 million bid to bring the player back to Brazil from Manchester City. It all sounded like a fair bit of nonsense at the time, except Corinthians have confirmed that the bid was real. Manchester City received said bid and they rejected it. They said they want £50 million, and they mean it.

So, this brings up a few questions. First of all, what kind of club rejects a £35 million bid for a player who doesn't want to play for them anymore? Answer: One who has enough money to buy the entire city of Manchester if they feel like it. Okay, that was an easy one. How about a harder question: Where in the blue hell did Corinthians get £35 million?

According to "ESPN Soccernet's source in Brazil," they're making that money through legitimate business enterprises. Just look at the reported numbers on their television and shirt sponsorship deals.

"They mean business, they have the funds, they have a €55 million TV deal, a €26 million sponsorship deal, which is the fourth largest in the world, and they are building a new stadium which will open in 2013 holding 68,000, which will stage the opening ceremony for the World Cup."

I know Brazil has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and that their booming middle class likes to spend money on things like football shirts, but good lord! Does anyone believe this for a minute? I don't say this as a hater or someone who is ignorant about football in South America. As a regular viewer of Copa Libertadores and the Brasileiro, as well as a regular reader of writing on South American and Brazilian football, I'm well aware that it's getting better all the time.

It's not this good, though. It just isn't. This is Real Madrid or Bayern Munich kind of money. You know, the biggest clubs in the world. Clubs who have domestic fanbases the same size as that of Corinthians, and international fanbases that dwarf Corinthians. They play in the UEFA Champions League. They're on TV in every country in the world that has TV.

I'm not about to sit here and accuse Corinthians of any serious wrong-doing, but anyone who doesn't think shady accounting, third party ownership, or a gigantic loan is involved in this Tevez bid is a fool. Corinthians does not have £35 million. They don't. I'm certain of it. Say it with me.

Corinthians does not have thirty-five million pounds.