22 September ~ Although Mikel Arteta was born and bred in San Sebastián, he never played for Real Sociedad, apart from a brief five-month flirtation in 2004, between the end of his Glasgow Rangers period and the beginning of his Everton career. During that five months Sociedad drew up a ten per cent sell-on clause which has just earned them €1.2 million (£1.05m) from the Arsenal purchase. However, the sand in the Vaseline is that the famous Basque boys’ club, Antiguoko, were the team with which Arteta cut his teeth (before being whisked off to Barcelona at 16) and Sociedad are contractually obliged to pay €200,000 of the bounty their way.
Antiguoko, for whom my son will return to play after his Junior Varsity year in the US, are a tiny club from a small San Sebastián neighbourhood, Antiguo, who don’t even possess their own ground, but who keep earning buckets of cash for several players that they have churned out over the years, under their remarkable coaching system and eye for a long-term investment. When Xabi Alonso moved to Real Madrid, they pocketed €600,000, following a similar figure when he originally moved to Liverpool.
Last season, my son had two home kits, two away kits, two different training sets, expert coaching and a very posh team bus. If Valencia’s Aritz Aduriz and Bilbao’s highly rated Andoni Iraola move anywhere in the next year or so, Antiguoko should be able finally to afford their own stadium. World domination looms. You read it here first – Antiguoko. Phil Ball