John W. Henry Just Says “No.”
We saw FSG flex their muscles this summer when they refused to bow to pressure and sell want-away striker Luis Suarez and recent comments from Liverpool principal owner John W. Henry has shed a little more light on the subject.
The Uruguayan was taking a hard line through the press trying to force a move first to Spanish giants Real Madrid, and then to Arsenal when the North London side lodged a number of bids — including the infamous £40mil + £1 offer — in an attempt to trigger a clause in the striker’s contract. The American took a hard line with the bid and refused to discuss it at all, telling Suarez that he had a contract and would not be sold to anyone at any price.
“He had a buyout clause of £40mil” Henry told the Sloan Sports Analytics conference in America. “They offered £40m plus £1. What we’ve found … is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually, in world football. It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.”
After carefully gauging a number of different factors — including what the backlash from the fans would be like should Suarez be sold — FSG decided to stand firm; if players didn’t need to honour their contracts, they didn’t either. “We sold a player, Fernando Torres, for £50mil, that we did not want to sell, we were forced to. Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling.”
The hard line has certainly paid off; Suarez is not only top scorer in England, but also in Europe and the Reds are chasing the Premier League title and Champions League qualification for the first time since 2009. Liverpool have also tied the Uruguayan down to a new, and very lucrative, long term deal.
Now, that’s a good piece of business…
11 thoughts on “John W. Henry Just Says “No.””
Im not sure how good it was in a legal sense but as an LFC fan i think it was good work.
Ive seen alot of Arsenal supporters chucking wobblies over these comments but in the grand scheme of things i hope this type of action helps with clubs gaining that little bit more power over contracts.
Players/Agents can just demand transfers out of the blue and expect to get them, so maybe this will help teams start to get a bit of leverage.
is i were suarez i leave this team now
Why? He’s playing phenomenal football and LFC are challenging for CL. He’s getting paid so i would assume he’s pretty happy right now.
From the explanations I’ve read, they did not have to inform Suarez of any bids until it hit £40m. They were not obligated to accept the bid, just inform the player. A clause like that would be used to prevent a player from becoming unsettled everytime he hears about a bid coming in when it’s far lower than anything the club would accept.
If you were Suarez we’d kick you out and if you left you’d by crying and screaming for your loyalty bonus.
I rad another article about this claiming it is a miss quote or something to that affect, The point that even if the release clause was in place or not the owner would still have refused, to sell. Kind of the way we missed out on that last transfer this winter.
I wouldn’t want to see a return to the pre-Bosman days, but Henry makes a really good point.
I’m sure he knew — hence the crying and screaming in the buildup to his change of heart.
Water under the bridge at this point; he’s signed a big fat contract extension and Champions League Football, Player of the Year and the Golden Boot is on the horizon for him.
Henry making him stay here has been a blessing in disguise for both Suarez and Liverpool.
I heard something to that effect as well — haven’t found anything definitive though.
If we’re not going to sell him anyways, what’s the point of telling him when someone bids? Understand the clause, but hardly a point.
Yeah either way I enjoyed the story 🙂 The owner showing some bravado put a real smile on my face 🙂