BCFC: The Spanish Connection part II – Guzman and Medina

Birmingham City announced on Sunday that both of the Spanish players that they had taken on tour with the club to Portugal have been signed. Both Agustin “Agus” Medina and Ivan Guzman have signed two year deals with the club, but 28 year old Guzman will be immediately loaned out to UE Cornella for the season.

Spanish Flag

You can view the announcements for Medina and Guzman on the bcfc.com website.

I have to be honest in that the tiny bit I saw of Medina play in the friendly against Swindon Town showed he had some glimpses of talent.

At 24 he’s still relatively young and he was probably Cornella’s best player last season – although that being said I think he will make the same impact on the first team as Enric Valles.

Ivan Guzman is a different story.

Blues had referred to both Medina and Guzman as Cornella players when they took them on their tour but as I said in my last Spanish Connection piece I couldn’t find anything to back up the assertion that Guzman played for Blues’ partner club.

Why sign him and loan him back?

The spectre of Profit and Sustainability rules clearly lives on in many people’s minds, because the immediate assumption I saw from many fans on social media was that the transfer of Guzman is a dodge to help improve Blues’ standing with respect to the rules.

That would make sense if Blues were making any money on the deal – which I don’t believe is the case.

It would make no sense for Cornella to pay a loan fee for a player that they could have signed on a free themselves.

Likewise, Guzman’s age means that this isn’t a signing with an eye on the future.

The most logical answer for me is the simplest one – that Blues are repaying their part of the partnership which has not just brought them Agus Medina but has also seen them bring in a new women’s manager and u23 manager in the last few months.

I can’t imagine Guzman would be on more than about £1k per week; so with signing on fees, agent fees and whatever else I can’t see how it would cost us more than £100k this year to do this deal.

It’s not hard to see other situations where a club in a partnership have “gifted” a player to their partner club.

For example, Manchester City caused controversy when they signed Anthony Caceres from Central Coast Mariners and immediately loaned him to their A-League partner Melbourne City.

This enabled both Melbourne and Central Coast Mariners to circumvent transfer rules in Australia.

The difference between Blues and Man City is that Man City owned a stake in Melbourne City; Blues do not own a stake in UE Cornella.

It’s possible Guzman isn’t the only player who will tread this path either.

There are at least two further players currently training with the u23 side in Birmingham who could potentially be signed and then sent on to Cornella – although Blues could feasibly say that they are a future investment due to their youth.

One thing is for sure – the connection between Blues and Cornella is deepening. We have to hope that there will continue to be benefits for Blues too.

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