Reports from 26 September 2019 stated that Barcelona were issued a fine of only €300 by the Spanish football federation (RFEF) after they were adjudged to have broken the rules in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann whom they signed for €120m from Atlético Madrid, absolving the player of any involvement in the case.
If you laughed after reading that news, you’re not alone. In fact, the ruling has been mocked around social media by fans all over the world, not just of Barcelona, Atletico, and Griezmann, but of the game in general.
The funniest bit of this development, however, is that Barcelona are going to appeal the fine!
According to other reports, Barcelona are set to appeal the €300 fine they received after being found guilty of tapping up Antoine Griezmann while he was an Atletico Madrid player, according to statements that have been tied to Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde.
While it is known that Atletico is not satisfied with the way the move panned out and have disputed the deal, the fine imposed by the Spanish Football Federation is not only incredibly hilarious but seems to be a mockery of Atletico’s case, who are requesting more money than the €120m which Barcelona paid for Griezmann’s services.
No matter who you are or how much money you have though, it’s never easy to write a cheque or dole out cash for doing something wrong.
However, if you think that fine was ridiculous, wait till you read the others on this list of weirdest football fines to be issued by various governing bodies, clubs and managers.
Cholo’s “celebratory” fine
Remember how Atletico Madrid pulled an upset against a blazing Juventus in last season’s Champions League? Absolute scenes when that happened. However, the most memorable moment of that match was not the victory, but Atletico manager, Diego Simeone’s interpretation of his joy at the victory.
Simeone turned towards fans and grabbed his crotch after defender, Jose Maria Gimenez, opened the scoring in a 2-0 win over the Turin giants on 20 February 2019.
This celebration caused a bit of outrage and when quizzed about his actions, the Argentine coach said the gesture showed he “had the courage to make tough selection decisions. He was however charged with improper conduct by UEFA and fined €19,000 in what was described by UEFA as an “obscene goal celebration”.
Simeone has since apologised for the celebration, but Cristiano Ronaldo paid no heed to the apology as he mimicked the celebration after he scored a hat-trick in the return leg to eliminate Atletico and send Juventus through to the next round, earning a fine of his own himself.
All’s fair in war, right?
UEFA doesn’t approve of Nicklas Bendtner’s undies
So that happened.
However, when you hear about a footballer being fined for something like this, you would believe it was because of the indecent exposure of his underwear, right? In this case, it was even weirder.
“Lord Bendtner”, as he is fondly called by social media fans, did this during a match against Portugal in Euro 2012 on purpose, and UEFA fined him not for the celebration itself, but for wearing the wrong brand of underwear.
Yes, you read that right – Bendtner was hit with a one-game suspension and a fine of about €115,000 following UEFA’s evaluation of the case.
Robbie Savage’s toilet situation
Former Leicester City midfielder Robbie Savage, was fined a whopping €11,000 for using referee Graham Poll’s toilet before a match, in what is arguably the most bizarre fine ever handed out to a footballer in the history of the sport.
Savage chronicled the event in his autobiography:
“It all happened in April 2002, when Villa visited Filbert Street. I was on antibiotics, because of a cut on my leg that wouldn’t heal. The medicine gave me the runs. I’d been up all night, and I needed to go again.
“It was 10 minutes before kick-off, and the bell was about to signal both teams onto the pitch. I was desperate for the toilet but both cubicles in the changing-room were occupied. I had the option of crapping myself or quickly finding another toilet.
“There was no loo in the physio’s room, and the Villa changing area was well out of bounds. What about using the referee’s room?
“‘I’ve got to use the toilet,’ I said, entering the cubicle. Poll was sitting with his linesmen. I’d left the door slightly open and could see him. The assessor came in. Poll glanced over to me, turned to the assessor, and said: ‘Guess who’s in there?’ He pointed towards the toilet. ‘Haven’t got a clue,’ said the assessor.
“Everyone was laughing. I came charging out of the toilet, because the bell had gone. I pretended to wipe my hands down the assessor’s blazer. He laughed and I hugged him. And, no, I hadn’t washed my hands, because of the rush I was in.
“During the game, Poll was laughing about the whole thing. He didn’t seem angry at all. That night, it was the Player of the Year dinner, and my boss Micky Adams asked: ‘What have you done? Poll has made a complaint that you went into his room without permission and used his toilet. We’re fining you two weeks’ wages.’”
We’re sure Robbie Savage has learned his lesson by now, and for a hefty tuition too.
Brian Clough the disciplinarian
The legendary former Nottingham Forest manager was not only renowned for his exploits on and off the field but for his methods of keeping his players in line, as ex-Reds defender Kenny Burns will attest.
In 2015, the defender made a bad pass in a game which got Clough so angry that he had a fine waiting to be handed out to Burns at half-time!
“Liam O’Kane was sent to the office to type out the punishment, official paper with the wee Forest tree, and Cloughie handed me it at half-time – 50 bloody quid!” Burns told The Scotsman in 2015.
Of course, Clough handed out several sanctions to his players and would fine them for other things, but this one takes the cake. Definitely.
Super Mario hit with super fine
Mario Balotelli has been the butt of racist chants and gestures in the past, which we all agree are a pretty ugly sight in football. However, he has once been fined for speaking out against these incidences.
You read that right – Mario Balotelli was once fined for telling people not to be racist.
In typical Balotelli controversial fashion though, this image of Super Mario was posted to his Instagram sometime in 2014:
The Internet backlash was loud and swift prompting Balotelli to delete the Instagram post. He then took to Twitter in defence of what he claims was supposed to be a message promoting diversity and anti-racism, saying, “My Mom is Jewish so all of [you] shut up please.”
The damage was already done, however, and Balotelli was suspended for one game and fined €36,000 for the post which was deemed offensive, racist and anti-semitic.
The €300 fine is silly enough, but that Barcelona intends to appeal it seems way over the top from a club who posted record figures from the 2018/19 season in terms of earnings. The club also projected an income of €1bn for 2019/20 – the highest income in sports history.
However, as far as football fines go, that is probably down the list of the weirdest fines ever.
Griezmann has scored three goals in his first seven games as a Barcelona player with the club fifth in La Liga after losing two of their opening six matches, and at this rate, Barcelona would be glad to pay that fine 10 times over if they can keep him.