How Neymar has moved player power on to another level!
Player power has moved on to another level at Paris Saint-Germain after Neymar held his birthday bash 48 hours before a big Ligue 1 game.
There was a time when the power was with the clubs. However, slowly but surely, that has now shifted to the players and in some cases the clubs appear to be completely powerless, with players pretty much having free rein to do what they want.
Since the introduction of the Bosman ruling, players can run down their contracts to earn a lucrative deal elsewhere. Even when under contract, some players have gone on strike, feigned injury, refused to turn up for training, you name it, in order to try and force a move away.
That is nothing new in the modern game. Unless a player is tied down to a lengthy contract, more often than not he will come out on top if he wants out.
However, at PSG over the last few days, a new form of player power has come to the forefront after Neymar organised a swanky party to celebrate his 28th birthday at a Paris nightclub, slap bang in the middle of two important fixtures.
Imagine for a second David Beckham trying to get that one past Sir Alex Ferguson 20 years ago. But times have changed and at PSG it would appear Neymar rules the roost.
Thomas Tuchel was clearly unimpressed with the situation when he was quizzed before the Nantes game on Tuesday night, but it also sounds as though he had little other option than to go along with it.
If the German had come down hard and stopped it happening, it could potentially cause more unrest with Neymar, which in turn could have an effect on the rest of the dressing room as they approach the business end of the season.
What’s more, pretty much the whole of the PSG squad was also invited and Tuchel could do nothing more than let it go on and just hope they would all be responsible enough to remember they had a tough away game two nights later.
To rub a little bit more salt in the wounds, Neymar picked up a rib injury against Montpellier on Saturday, ruling him out of the game with Nantes. PSG said it was genuine, but they would have to say that.
But surely it is no coincidence Neymar has been injured around the time of his birthday for the last three seasons?
It is also worth noting that Neymar shares the same birthday as Cristiano Ronaldo, but there were no big parties in Turin over the weekend.
Thankfully for PSG and the 850 supporters who made the trip to Nantes on Tuesday night, they won the game 2-1 to move 15 points clear at the top of Ligue 1, but no thanks to Neymar on this occasion.
In fairness to PSG, they have stood firm as the Brazilian has pushed for a move and so far he has been forced to stay put, but no doubt he will get his wish of a move back to Barcelona in the summer, and player power will win again.