What’s the big deal with a contract anyway?

Will these shirts be here to stay?
Contract talks have featured rather heavily in recent weeks at Newcastle United, with deals for Jose Enrique and Joey Barton being the main reasons for discussion.

This is understandable when you consider just how important those two lads have been this season, and it’s widely accepted that it would be a good move to try and keep the pair at the club as they are two players that most definitely ‘earn their money’ so to speak.

But does it really matter? Who does a contract benefit? Does a contract actually mean anything these days?

The short answer is no, to all of them. Andy Carroll demonstrated quite superbly that if a player wants out they will get their way if there is interest from another club and an intent from the player to leave.

Call me cynical, but the whole Andy Carroll affair has left me feeling slightly negative about contracts. I mean what is the point of them? This is why I’m not getting overly concerned over the lack of a new deal for Enrique, although we know that he wants to wait until we are safe, and for Barton, who says he wants to stay but as yet there has been no evidence of a deal.

What does it matter though? Why would it put anyone’s mind to rest? I mean at the end of the day if a player wants out all they have to do is make a few phone calls. That three, four or five years that is left on their contract doesn’t matter one bit then does it? Ask Carroll.

I’d like to be able to say that any player who signs a contract at a club has the full intention of seeing it out until the end of the deal, but that simply isn’t the case any longer. There are exceptions to the rule of course, but they are very few and far between these days.

So in conclusion, if Jose and Joey both sign new deals, does it guarantee that they will be with us for the next however many years? Nope, not at all. What it does guarantee is that the club have the power to negotiate should the player want to leave at any point.

Rumours are circulating on Twitter at the moment suggesting that there could be a big announcement at the club today, with even more speculative rumour suggesting that the announcement could be with regard to Barton’s and Enrique’s new contract.

You have to wonder why this is being built up to be a big announcement anyway as either player could be off at their own discretion before the ink is even dry on a new deal.

Rant over!

46 thoughts on “What’s the big deal with a contract anyway?

  1. Do you have a link for these twitts?!

    I think really the only benefit the contract gives is the club will receive a slightly inflated price for the player dependant on the length of the contract to run. The benefit for the player is similar to all of us and that is simply they are employed and have a salary. Thats it. It does not mean anything in terms of loyalty as you have said.

    I am not overly concerned as I want players to be at the club who want to be. If Joey isnt happy with the deal on the table, no problem, he doesnt run out of contract for another year or so, so he wont be off with the first offer that comes his way esp after all he has said. I wouldnt sign something simply if it was the first thing on the table, and lets not forget that it is likely to be his last contract so will want it to be right.

    Jose on the other hand is younger and frankly has higher value in terms of being an asset and so will comand a lot higher price. I am not going to slag the club off for wanting to ensure the wages are fair and the prices have gone through the roof and clubs will fall for it, look at Plymouth as the latest example. We are not in a position to offer 100k a week to anyone, in fact I dont know how many clubs CAN actually afford to do this. Arsenal have a wags structure but manage to work around it.


  2. True Toonsy, they aint really worth feck all. Still-it still has some measure of intent with regards to certain individuals anyway..Carroll has his whole future ahead of him whereas Barton is peaking in his career, if Barton wanted to be playing somewhere else I’d imagine he would have made that clearer by now and wouldn’t intend on signing a new contract..a lot of clubs get forced into selling players who refuse to renew when they’re down to about 12months and basically signal their intent to leave. If we secure these lads on 5 year deals then we can’t be “forced” to sell…in theory at least-clubs can still find a selling point and players generally hold all the cards, but if signing Carroll’s contract earlier this year bumped his price from 20mil to 35 or something like that, then i’m glad we did it, even if it wasn’t effectively worth owt.


  3. I’ve signed a number of contracts in my life – every job I do is on a different contract. All it does is formalise the conditions of my employment. They all have a rider saying that either side can leave the contract under certain conditions, as long as they/I give written notice.

    I’ve never seen a footballer’s contract, but it seems that it gives the player security of tenure, until the contract ends. And it allows the employer to ask for a bigger transfer fee.

    Has nowt to do with loyalty.


  4. Its just an employee employer relationship. I am on a permenant contract, but I am still looking elsewhere for alternative employment, similarly, 4 months ago I was on a perm contract but made redundant so really they are just formal legal things laying out terms and conditions as you point out Bris


  5. Ive just seen some plum called @jobey07 – saying ‘theres strong rumours that the anouncement is the sale to the richest arabs ever’. Highly highly doubt that but hey lets dream a little as works shite


  6. Richest Arabs ever? Knowing our luck they’ll buy us and be the next in line to be overthrown, probably some time just before the next season starts and we’ve just spent a zillion quid in the transfer market.


  7. Can’t get the tweets as I’m at work, but they were from the likes if George Caulkin etc.

    As for contracts, I’m fully versed in what they are. My current one is looking after a Β£5 million division. My main point about them is why is there so much interest when in reality they mean nothing anyway?


  8. It’s apparently going to be at 8:30.

    Hmm, I shall remain sceptical. I have virtually zero hope that it will be good news anyway should said announcement take place.


  9. Raffo – That Jobey07 reads this blog sometimes. He usually posts on NUFC Mad. He’ll be on a wind up with the Arab rumour just in case anyone starts to take it seriously πŸ˜‰

    Mind you, Gaddafi will be looking for new digs soon so you never know 😯 πŸ˜† πŸ˜‰


  10. The tabloids are interested in them because they can make up stories to scare fans, create scandal where there is none and give succor to harbingers of doom like Stuart79.


  11. Agree with you guys. A contract means better transfer fees for the club and security for the player. I’d hate to see Barton or Enrique go, as they’re both hard workers and make us look good, but if they both sign 5 year deals at the end of the season, and some other club offers exorbitant prices for them, it’s not bad business to take the money. In the end, life is all about return on investment (not just financially, mind), so if the return on Barton and Enrique is good enough, they could (and arguably should) be sold. Not a popular opinion, but one that *could* have positive ramifications for the club and the fans in the future in addition to being a reasonably sound business plan. On the other hand, we’re Newcastle United supporters. Haven’t we been patient long enough? lol


  12. Hmm, what if Mubarak AND Qaddafi got together on this one? We’ll spend record amounts in the transfer market, buy every good player in the world, and then subjugate the Prem with 30 years of tyranny. 😯 πŸ’‘


  13. Didnt wana preacch to the choir there Toonsy!!

    Well if he reads ‘hello my man’!!

    It is probably announcing Beryl the tealady’s retirement


  14. raffo – twitter for this place you mean? Its @nufcblogcouk or just click the light blue ‘t’ in the top left of this page πŸ™‚


  15. As someone has already said they’re a benefit to the selling club as it helps the selling club to get a higher price in the event of a sale.Despite what we think contracts do keep players at a club for longer periods, how many of the players we have with us from the relegation season would still be with us now if they were out of contract at the end of that season? answer, very few to zero. If all players only had 1 year contracts, more of them would probably move every season for signing on fees and pay rises.
    Contracts would be worth more if just one party had the balls to enforce it, no club can make a player under contract leave if he really doesn’t want to just as no player can force a club to sell him if it really doesn’t want to.
    In short, for every transfer that appears to make a mockery of contracts(even though the club recieves a higher fee) there are probably 10 more that “sort of” work and keep players at a club for 2 years or more…..we don’t notice those ones though do we? πŸ˜‰


  16. It usually gets the team and player off the back pages and out of the headlines as well, you can hear sky sports now ‘Jose Enrique has put to bed specualtion about joining Liverpool as he’s just signed a new extension to his contract’ etc etc and that will be it.

    If they player want to be here, he will be, if he doesn’t, then….


  17. Hang on Toonsy – for once I’m going to disagree with one of your articles!

    The only reason Carroll was able to walk was that the club was willing to let him. If they’d told him to just sod off to bed and kick his agent in the nads on the way out (both elements of which would have been a better move than what they did) then Bigger Lad would still be a Toon player, and there’s nowt he could do about it, except for either:

    1. Buy his own way out of the contract. Unlikely that he’d have Β£35m laying about.
    2. Threaten to under-perform, and in so doing wreck his career and probably get sued by the club for breach of contract.

    All contracts bind both ways, and the only way to get out of them is either for one side or the other to break the terms (with resultant penalties) or for both sides to agree.

    So yes, they’re worth something as long as your club owner and MD aren’t petulent twats who can’t deal with a young player being an idiot without waving their metaphorical cocks about. (i.e. “the helicopter’s outside mate”)


  18. whumpie what point would there have been keeping the Judas if he didn’t want to be here ? Would tne club have benifited ?would the dressing room and his team mates ? I dont think so.
    Toonsy can spout some crap but on this occasion I agree with him πŸ˜†


  19. Ashley and Lame-arse should have had the experience (ha) and maturity to recognise what they had in front of them: a young, rather dumb, player with his head full of agent-induced poison. He just needed reminding of what he already had (living his dream, basically) and what he’d signed up for just three months earlier.

    I have a contract for my job, like everyone else – and if I walk out because I get a better offer I’ll be screwed because my reputation would be wrecked and I’d get sued. So I stay and I do my job.

    This perceived toothlessness of clubs to keep players is fallacy put about by agents and by owners who want an excuse to take the money.


  20. Whumpie – we got one of the biggest transfer fees in the history of the game for an overrated, arrogant, dumb, lanky streak of pish that encouraged hoof ball tactics and had a penchant for punching out anyone who got in his way.

    Fat Man and Owl Heed have made some monumental cock-ups in their time on the Toon, but that deal has to go down as the greatest bit of business Barrack Road has ever seen.

    Β£35m. Howay man. And we get 25% of whatever they sell him on for after he flops.


  21. Whumpie it wasn’t just his agent had got to him, his best mate and captain had told him it was a good move. I do understand where your coming from, but i just think judas’s mind was made up either we made him the no 1 or he was off.
    Ice 11am mate i am allowed a cuppa to get ready πŸ˜† for a hard day, maybe catch you at lunchtime πŸ˜‰


  22. Β£35m is nowt if you get relegated. And back then it looked far from unlikely without AC. The value of the player is irrelevant; it’s the impact of the decision that matters.

    Right now, that impact includes having to pay a lot more money and move a lot more quickly to keep the rest of our squad. The club’s reputation with players considering joining us is back in the mire and that too will cost more when we come to recruit. If Best and co don’t continue their highly unlikely scoring rate, we could yet be in trouble; they certainly took a huge gamble.

    Β£35 million is f-all compared to the cost of that stupid, egotistical, cock-waving stunt with the helicopter. The reason people consider contracts worthless now is because people like Carroll and Owl-Heed make them so. But it takes both.


  23. In reality Carroll would have stayed if we had matched the offer that Liverpool made him. Fair enough some would say, who wouldn’t?

    I worry that it seems all you have to do at NUFC is hand in a transfer request and you’re off. Why not try to keep them? Even if they had just offered Carroll another contract, it didn’t have to match Liverpool, but just show him he’s valued.

    Enrique and Tiote will play the same game, I have no doubt and that’s up to them but I would like to see the club try harder to keep our better players.

    Perhaps show some ambition, that might tempt them to stay and sign an improved contract.


  24. Relegation?

    Could yet be in trouble???

    Mate – we could fail to win a game from now until the end of the season and we’d still stay up.

    I can see your upset, and understandably so, but you’re being a bit dramatic now.

    You do know that Judas was injured and still hasn’t kicked a ball in anger since we flogged him?

    He was hardly gonna save us from impending doom while he was laid on the treatment table!!


  25. Stu – maybe we should just send the players blank cheques every month and tell them to take as much as they want??


  26. Toon Chicken
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 11:07 AM
    Stu – maybe we should just send the players blank cheques every month and tell them to take as much as they want??

    Once again taking my comments and twisting I see…

    If players are attracting attention from other clubs, their generally performing very well. In every walk of life, if you perform well you should be rewarded.

    Like I said in my first comment, I’m not saying we should match every offer that another club makes, just offer to improve their current contract due to their improved performances.

    In some cases it wouldn’t matter if we matched an offer from another club, if the player wants to leave they will leave, but I would like to see us make some attempt to keep our better players.

    Everyone else in the world do. Why are we any different?


  27. I use twitter on a dialy basis, heard or seen nothing about a big announcement like.

    I don’t think Jose will sign a new deal, however I think Joey will. I had a feeling straight away when Jose wanted to wait until were safe…Just delaying tactics, Jose can leave if he wants to. He needs to remember when he first came here he was one of the reasons we went down – him, Colo and Jonas were all terrible in the season we went down.

    If Jose does leave I hope he goes abroad.


  28. “just offer to improve their current contract due to their improved performances.”

    Had we not already done that a few months ago???


  29. That was before his outstanding performances and interest from other clubs.

    I’m sorry but it’s the way of the world – people who are performing attract attention – you either fight to keep them or you just allow them to go and strenghthen your rivals.

    I guess we know which one you are now…

    Weak, feeble and a complete and utter walk over.


  30. No club should expect to match the highest bid for any player. That is what contracts are for: you make a deal acceptable to both sides, then you stick to it. Carroll was only worth that salary and fee to Liverpool because they were in deeeeep shite. He isn’t worth anything like it in the open market, and we all know it.

    We offered him yet another re-negotiation – the third in 2 years – in the summer, and that should have been it. If he’d done a Torres, then he’d have been sent to rot in the ressies until he saw sense. Basically, what we lack is balls in the boardroom.


  31. Stu: I agree with the ‘weak and feeble’ thing to an extent – but surely just paying up is even weaker and feebler than what they did?

    The only strong response was ‘feck off you greedy, stupid git’.


  32. Whumpie
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM
    Stu: I agree with the β€˜weak and feeble’ thing to an extent – but surely just paying up is even weaker and feebler than what they did?

    The only strong response was β€˜feck off you greedy, stupid git’.

    We need to make the club attractive for players to stay, otherwise all our better players will just be poached – where does that leave us?

    We would be weak and feeble by capitulating and matching Liverpool’s offer, but not by immediately sitting down with Carroll and discussing an improved contract for him. Not a huge rise, but enough to show he’s a valuable asset to us and we have ambition to keep him.

    I agree though, Llambias and Ashley should have shown a bit of grit and determination to hold on to him, getting a helicopter for him was the biggest signal yet that all they care about is money and they couldn’t wait to get their hands on the cheque.

    The club have left themselves with a real problme now. The better players know they can just go to the board and ask for a transfer and they will be allowed to go. If they had played hard ball with Carroll and said ‘no’ the other players would think twice.

    We did it with Given and Nzogbia and we did it again with Carroll. Ashley just wants money.

    We have to face the harsh facts – Ashley has no real thought for us or the club.

    The supporters who keep thinking it will get better this transfer window or this summer and time and again get let down and dissapointed by his actions will be the guys who get annnoyed and dissapointed. The likes of me who accept he’s he a dick and it won’t get better anytime soon don’t get too suprised of dissapointed.

    One day though it will all turn out ok – only when he’s gone though.


  33. Unfortunately, being run by a casino spiv means that they consider what they did to be the ‘ard thing to do and good business. It does not bode well now they’re in the position of needing to keep top-quality players who know what they can get elsewhere.

    I suspect that they’re well aware that player costs are about to plummet, but perhaps don’t seem to realise that it could take a few years to kick in yet. They will probably risk losing the players and spending a couple more years in mid-table, offering either very reduced, or very low-wage contracts.

    I have some sympathy; Sky will slash their TV revenue in a heartbeat, leaving them with Β£60m a year in salary to cover. But at a time like this, they need industry experience. And they have none; nor the nouse to make up for it.


  34. I don’t know. I think it’s more about ego and perception; Ashley and Llamearse probably think they’re being hard, shrewd businessmen who don’t cave in to player demands. They’re not; they’re showing their spiv credentials and lack of experience and skill.

    As you say – the answer lies somewhere in between; recognising when a player has been offered better, and at least making some attempt at finding middle ground, while also balancing the poison from the agent (usually the only winner) by reminding the player of the good side of being here. In Carroll’s case I don’t think that would have been hard. I’m pretty sure that by summer he’s going to be wishing he was still here. And wishing his car was still parked outside. With wheels and a stereo.


  35. AC was always gonna be sold in january.

    “The fact is Mike Ashley didn’t want to sell him, it’s not like he needs the money is it? And remember we turned down bids of Β£30m and then Β£35m from Liverpool. That’s serious money for a 22-year-old with only six months’ experience in the Premier League. But finally Mike’s point of view was the player’s put in a transfer request, so what can we do?”
    -Derek Llambias 2nd Feb 2011….

    well if the fat get didn’t need the money he should’a just turned them down again then – del boy.

    “Ideally you would like to keep someone like Andy Carroll, a young player who is from the area, but financially we could not keep him. I like to think I have that ambition, and in two or three years, if we can sustain our Premier League status, and keep investing the TV money wisely, we can hold off that next bid. At the moment we are not in that position and we have to accept that.”
    -Alan Pardew 5th Feb 2011…….

    make your mind up lads – fatty either needs the money or he doesn’t.

    you know what they say – if their lips are moving….


  36. The problem with caving in to Carroll’s demands is that it would set a dangerous precendent. It wouldn’t just be him who would be looking for a rise. Say you got a pay rise at work because you threatened to leave, but your peers were happy to stay and didn’t get one, then they found out, would they be happy?


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