Play and Pay

In the highly tribal atmosphere that characterizes competition football, fans of different teams rarely care to admit that they might have something in common. Yet over the past fortnight, supporters of Japanese J-League sides Urawa Red Diamonds, Cerezo Osaka and Gamba Osaka have indeed found themselves on common ground, over an uncommon eventólosing a player to the high-profile, highly competitive European leagues.

This Monday, Gamba Osaka's star midfielder Junichi Inamoto, 21, will join English Premier League giants Arsenal in a five-year deal worth a reported $3 million. Last week, Bolton Wanderers, another Premier League side, took Cerezo Osaka's...

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