Rob Gutmann is joined by Neil Atkinson, Josh Sexton and Glenn Price to discuss Liverpool’s position and policy around wages.
The Reds, according to reports, pay the fifth highest average wage in the league but the tenth highest average wage in Europe. Is this sustainable – are Liverpool trying to be an elite side on the cheap?
And what of Phil Coutinho – a hot property not rewarded like one?
Looking at FSG and what comes next this is a thorough exploration of Liverpool’s ideas to date and what we can expect next.
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It’s always difficult to give massive wages to a player who has a decent chunk of his value based on a currently unrealized ceiling (Raheem).
It makes it quite easy for agents of other players to ask for a lot more, and then your wages and harmony have spiraled…and you’re still not in Europe.
There is no simple answer for this situation, there are so many factors involved, most are intangible though and, IMHO, it simply comes down to pure emotion. Players are ambitious and want success, if the club is not succeeding they wont really be happy. For so long LFC has been happy to aim for and finish top four and this is not acceptable if we want to recruit and retain top players. We have to be ambitious and the players have to be as well if they want to achieve more. While the money is important I think the environment and challenge is the greater motivator for players. Under Klopp this the first time in so long that we fans, and possibly the players, can dream about a little more. This is the first time, in so long, that I have really seen a whole team of LFC players who seem to enjoy each others company and love playing football together, the fans are behind the team and we have a great manager leading them. Money is important but I believe the environment is the telling factor. After all you don’t mind going to work each day if you enjoy your job. I am not sure that would be the case at another club. Yes reward the players with salary bump at the end of the season, if we succeed, as it then becomes a reward for hard work and consistency and at a personal level more satisfying. If money is the driving force behind a players motivation to play for LFC, IMHO, they can just f**k off because they don’t have the correct attitude for long term success both personally and professionally.
I’m intrigued to know how often this situation where 1 lad gets a decent pay hike and 3 others go banging on the door demanding the same actually happens? Every club has players on wages between 20-200k a week and I don’t seem to hear about too much disharmony across the PL.
And as for average wage bills – Rooney, Zlatan and Pogba skew Uniteds average weekly wage bill massively. That’s about 850k a week just between those three, as do Bale and Ronaldo at Madrid or Suarez, Messi and Neymar at Barcelona. There are plenty of very good players on a lot less than you might think.
that’s Barcelona’s basic wage list – you can check out most clubs on there
And what seems to get lost is what a player basic is versus what they get with bonuses…take Aguero – widely reported to be on 230k a week when its now come out he’s “only” on 160k basic but with potential to earn 70k more in bonuses. Need to be careful with judging what we think lads are on against what they actually are on. Coutinho could be on 65k a week, for example, but that could be basic and so far this season he could be trousering nearer 100k with bonuses added on.
It’s quite simple really. There are unwritten rules that govern these types of scenario’s. The only thing muddying the water is Klopp and the desire players seem to have to play for him.
I watched a documentary about him the other night and, much as I can’t verify it, the doc said after Dortmund won the league everyone spoke of an exodus of players but at the start of the next season they were all still there (the first time they won it).
I agree with FSG, be careful of the wage offered when buying a player.
If high earners are not performing then attempt to get rid – p.s Sturridge is our highest earner but he is performing. The fact he’s on the bench is through no fault of his own. I still refer to Cole and Jovanovic as an example.
But, there is another formula where I believe we’re in danger of neglect.
I feel strange typing this but Coutinho on £75k a week is scandalous and asking for trouble. He’s clearly underpaid. Now Mane and Firmino have proved themselves I’d be looking to increase their wages.
The formula is quite obvious. If Liverpool are gonna finish 7th then we have to accept they can’t get the ‘highest’ wages and we’ll lose the ones who do well. Liverpool are flying though. Do we want one good season then begin the building process again? No, do we fuck. We want to consolidate at the top and that means at least attempting to keep our best players.
It’s a nonsense to suggest others will be knocking on the door. Lovren and Matip are outscoring Sturridge in the league but can you see them knocking on the door asking for a rise because of it. No. Lovren’s lucky to be in the first 11. Gini maybe? No. Can? No. Henderson? I’ve said before although I shouldn’t have favourite players at my age I can’t help it with Jordan. He can’t go demanding more money next week though. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. He’s captain and he plays for the Reds. Ask him if he’s happy. I’ll answer for him, he’s ecstatic. He’s no right to go rocking the boat and running the risk of being told ‘no, fuck off to Fulham if you’re not happy’. Even Lallana, what are his current options? Only a fool would say there’s a better option away from LFC / Klopp. Each player has different circumstances and a good Director will understand that and act accordingly. Coutinho to Barca is by no means a done deal if their interest is as high as the press say. Those individual circumstances come into play. There are pro’s and cons on both sides to the argument and nothing is certain except at this stage we’re not helping our pitch to keep him.
Strikers earn more. Fact. Ours are not on the correct wages by comparison. Agree or not we’re not that 7th, 6th or even 5th placed team anymore. The landscape has changed dramatically under Klopp. We have to live up to the perception of that or deep down everyone knows we’re a stepping stone. A players career is short. Top teams needs success and to pay well. There’s no cheat. Look, if we give Coutinho, Firmino and Mane an extra £80k a week then it’s less than £12m a year. It’s a lot of money for LFC but don’t buy that £10m player to develop in the summer. Just buy a first 11 player. If we lose a big name after doing everything in our power to keep them then we get a windfall. Invest that in the £10m player to develop or better still bring one up through the academy.
Overall, I don’t think we’re (FSG) a millions miles away. We paid suarez £200k a week knowing it was only for a season (and what a season it was). We payed Sturridge £140k for the same reason then got unlucky. But then, we clearly lost Sterling over negligence / trying to be too smart / other mitigating factors (all related, though I don’t claim to know what actually happened over Sanchez). Now’s the time to do the same with Coutinho at least. Anything else is absolute negligence. FSG want to increase their asset. This is the way. We can afford it. Only a fool would claim we can’t. The landscape may change again in 5 years but it’s pretty much set for the next 5. It’s not a risk. It’s common sense if you want to be the best.
Yes, there is a chance that the ‘project’ or ‘Klopp factor’ may turn players heads but we have to be respectful of how life is. Take Coutinho again, playing for us has to be mutually beneficial. We only hold 2 of the aces if the aforementioned transpires.
On buying players, we seem to offer the money but not the wages. I think if a player doesn’t want to buy into the ethos of start on 100k and if you’re brilliant and the team is successful as a part consequence then your wage will rise as we did with x, y and z (hopefully). If they don’t subscribe then fuck them. Our success at the minute is down to a lack of ego to a small degree. It’s a real team fighting and growing together. We shouldn’t be turning our backs on the ones who accepted the challenge and excelled though. I don’t think Klopp’s views would be much different to the ones stated in this last paragraph. He’s good but he’s not unrealistic.
My view is the Chinese investment muted about the place will be agreed in 12 to 18 months. FSG can probably get all of their money back (stand expansion aside which is covered over the next 5 years). They could probably maintain as much as 75% of the club too. Makes sense to a businessman. Eliminates all risk.
Despite saying all that, I firmly believe the club will be thinking a similar thing so I’m not that worried. This week isn’t a good time to negotiate with PC. May could be too late though.
Bottom line – reward success.
P.s Was that succinct enough?
If we lose Coutinho, it won’t be because we aren’t paying him enough. It will because he wants to play with his mates and win a big haul of medals with his mates at Barca, with the bonus that he can move his family to a warmer climate.
Also, I really don’t think we lost Sterling because of the value of the contract he was offered. And if we did, well too bad. Which of Firmino or Mane would we want to have missed out on, because we already had Sterling in the side?
Hiya mate. You know I always respect your views on here but come off it. On the one hand you’re right. I remember him saying years ago it’s too cold in Liverpool. South American, language and culture etc, Barca must appeal. Personally, I think Barcelona is over rated,always have but it’s far better than Liverpool. I like Liverpool centre. It’s ok but you can get in a bubble. The reality is in comparison to a lot of good European cities it’s small time and pretty wank. Only a small time mentality would deny that. Depends what you like but I don’t think Phil would be massively impressed. If you don’t pay wages you’re not helping yourself. It becomes – project on significantly less money versus good city, far better wages, cocktails on the beach, a few league titles and a few CL winners medals. Immediately we’re in a bad starting place. The money has to be there or we’re massively disadvantaged. Irretrievably so. You have to put your best foot forward.
We lost Sterling because we didn’t offer a contract. If in May 2014 we offer him a contract, he signs. It makes it difficult to go in whenever he went. We offered it in November though. By then we were shit. He’d made his mind up we couldn’t match his ambition. Timing is everything. We need to act or there’s no excuse.
I’m with you mate. FSG have been ok and in some quarters took some unfair criticism. This is simple life science though mate. Money talks.
Sorry Graeme. Wrote that in the pub earlier after a few. No idea what my point was reading it back. I think it was – money is always a factor. I do agree about the warmer climate though.
Trouble is, what if we have offered him
150k per week plus bonuses and his agent has insisted on a Barca transfer clause of say, 25€? No way we could accept that as it’s way below his market value.