Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trouble Looming For Rivero Signing?

Well the Rapids, via a tweet from Tim Hinchey, essentially confirmed that our new #10 is Martin Rivero.  However there was no official announcement of the signing today.  The Denver Post suggests one reason:

So what’s the delay? Here’s why, maybe:
Rivero remains in a contract dispute with Rosario Central, according to Diario La Capital. In a he-said-they-said scenario, the team at first balked when Rivero asked for a raise. It was standard business until Central’s offseason passed and the preseason started and Rivero still had not reported to camp.
According to the article, the team is now demanding that Rivero report to camp to carry out his contract. It’s possible the Rapids are trying to negotiate a loan and release for him with Central management.
But Rosario3.com reported that Central is trying to block Rivero from leaving. The team, the report says, will make another attempt at convincing Rivero to stay. The team (one of Argentina’s oldest and most succesful) very much has it’s eye on re-joining the Argentine first division with a strong finish in the table this season.

Assuming the Post is essentially correct, W.T.F.  How did the Rapids go through the process of negotiating with the player, signing him, getting him a visa, and setting an announcement of his signing without getting a sign-off from his current team?  If he's still under contract how would that even work?  Either the Post has missed a major part of the story or this is the biggest blunder the Rapids have made in terms of a player signing in years, maybe since Giles Grimandi/Daniel Amokachi blunders.

The more I think about this the more I have to assume there's something missing.  I can't see MLS allowing the Rapids to negotiate with Rivero without being confident that he had no contracted ties to his old team.  This issue also comes on the heels of the Revolution's laon deal with Jose "Pepe" Moreno of Once Caldas in Colombia falling apart after the club decided to keep him despite, reportedly, a signed loan deal with MLS and the Revs.  I'm wondering if the large number of South American signings this offseason has caused some clubs to try to play hardball with the league after MLS thinks the deal is done.

Either way this has been a fumble by the Rapids.  They can still save it by getting the deal done but its a good lesson about not making any definitive plans until all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed.

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