For this is the issue that has spellbound us since late September, when Carlos Tevez refused to do his job by declining an invitation to get off his backside and warm up for a substitute appearance.
He subsequently went to Argentina and didn't come back, and has not been paid for his time appearing in tedious pro-am golf events - you know, given that he is under contract to play football for Manchester City.
And now he looks set to forfeit a massive loyalty bonus. Again, ED would venture that's the price you pay for never going to work.
All the while, we have heard the same refrain from the Tevez camp: "All Carlos Tevez wants to do is play football."
Tevez: All he wants to do is play footballWe heard it after his initial sit-down protest in Munich, we heard it when he disappeared to Argentina, and we heard it yesterday in a statement, only with his status as a football player rightly shoved into the past tense: "Now all Carlos wants to do is get back to playing football."
To be frank, if that's the line Team Tevez want to spin, they should at least have got him involved in a few kickabouts and knocked the golf on the head.
One part of the Tevez statement did strike ED as plausible, however: "Carlos has said many times before that money has never been a motivation."
Given this whole farrago is reported to have cost him £9.3 million, that may well be true.
It could have been avoided easily by just doing a Winston Bogarde.
The Dutchman, you may remember, picked up a colossal amount of money at Chelsea by turning up for training, going through the motions and never once showing even the remotest interest in playing for the first team.
The thing is, it's actually very difficult to lose a loyalty bonus.
For example, Andy Carroll is set to receive £150,000 next week for spending a year at Liverpool. Clearly, 'loyalty' does not need to be backed up by any sort of positive contribution on the pitch.
And you may remember Joey Barton reportedly demanding a £300,000 loyalty payment when he left Manchester City (this after smacking Ousmane Dabo in the face on the training ground).
So for Tevez to squander a loyalty bonus is actually quite an achievement - and yet also entirely logical given he has spent most of this season 7,000 miles away from his place of work.
Man has pay withheld for being in the wrong hemisphere. That really is a story for the ages.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I think he feels persecuted; he cannot go on like that. We had a very clear image of his career at the beginning and I have told the press openly Mario will have to stay at Manchester City for at least three or four years, helping the club on this important project and grow as a man and a player.
"Obviously if he's being banned every three or four games for one reason or another we cannot go on like that and there needs to be an end to that. So if that's the case and English referees and the English FA would like Mario to go out of England then we would take that seriously in consideration, even if that's not and was not our intention." Mario Balotelli's agent Mino Raiola turns the violin up to 11. How about this for an idea: STOP TREADING ON OPPONENTS.
FOREIGN VIEW: Barcelona take on Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey tonight. They lead 2-1 after the first leg - but come on, you're not watching it for the football, you're watching it for the aggro.
And for Jose Mourinho, who is reportedly considering quitting the club over criticism from the press and fans.
Here's our man in Spain, Andy Mitten, on why Madrid fans cannot take to Mourinho:
'Real Madrid fans are almost impossible to please. As Jose Mourinho pointed out this week when he was booed by his own fans for the first time in his career, the 70,000 regulars who usually fill football's grandest stadium jeered Zidane, booed Ronaldo and now they're booing the man they call Cristiano.
'Ronaldo has scored 23 league goals in 19 games so far this season. Granted, nine of them were penalties, but he's ahead of Messi and is on target to break his own 40 goal Pichichi record from last season.
'It's not enough.'
COMING UP: Liverpool v Manchester City in the Carling Cup second leg at 19:45. Despite losing the first leg 1-0 at home, ED makes City slight favourites to meet Cardiff at Wembley.
There's Clasico action at 21:00 - Barcelona v Real Madrid.