It’s been a bit strange since primary Liverpool owner John W. Henry admitted that the Reds basically ignored Luis Suarez’s buyout clause to keep him at the club this summer, but now that video has emerged of the strange exchange, things are likely to just get weirder.
Or they may not; this is all in the past at this point, but in a recent interview at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the American billionaire made the admission under little pressure at all that Arsenal – lodging a bid of £40mil + £1 for the want away striker – actually triggered a release clause in Suarez’s contract that should have enabled the North London side to open negotiations with him. “Should” is, of course, the operative word in that sentence…
“He had a buyout clause of £40mil” Henry admitted. “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. Player power has been a hot topic debate in recent years with players forcing moves through sheer will, but the Liverpool owner took a hard line, proclaiming that Suarez wouldn’t be sold to anyone at any price.
Inspiration for their “tough nuts” approach to wheeling and dealing looks to be rooted in the past with Henry expanding on their decision making process. “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.”
Looks like they’ve made the right decision; Suarez, who signed a new long term contract in December, is Europe’s leading scorer and Liverpool are poised to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 2009.