There used to be a time when contracts were actually worth something to both parties who had agreed to it.
In the case of football players it gave them security, the knowledge that regardless they would be employed and would get paid for a set amount of time. For clubs it gave them leverage knowing full well that a player wrapped up in a nice long contract would often bump up a price if said player was to be sold.
Right now though as I can see it these contracts aren’t worth the paper they are written on, which makes me wonder what the point of them is at all and if they should just be done away with. After all there are numerous examples of contracts being reneged upon or wanting to be reneged upon and loyalty has been far removed from the game so what is the point in all of them?
Take a look at Fabricio Coloccini for example. He signed a new long-term deal only last season after long and protracted discussions. Right now though that doesn’t seem to matter as our skipper seemingly wants out and with the only vocal suitors coming in the form of a club who can’t afford to pay his market value and want Colo to rescind his contract so they can sign him up for free.
Now of course with this comes the argument of what to do with an unhappy player who is under contract. Do we play hard and assert that the player in question honours the contract he signed just last year, or is it too much hassle to have an unhappy player on your books, especially one as key as Colo?
So say we let Colo go. Thank-you and goodnight, do whatever you have to do in Argentina and so on. What does that say to anybody else we have under contract? Do they then just turn round and say they are homesick/having issues/anything else to get out of the long-term contract they signed?
From a business sense our club has invested a lot of money in Fabricio Coloccini. Not only did we shell out over £10 million to sign him in the first place, we’ve also paid him rather handsomely in return for his services, some of which have been way below the mark required, particularly in his early days on Tyneside. Is it right that Newcastle United should just essentially turn into a charity and let him go when we arguably need him most?
Of course it’s not just a one-way street with contracts and some of them are more openly worthless than others. I’m still shocked that I see people banging on about Alan Pardew’s eight-year contract to be honest. It was as clear as day that Ashley wasn’t going to let that one pass without attaching some of his famous strings to it, and so it would seem as most credible sources seem to suggest that only one year of compensation would be due should Pardew end up getting the boot.
So what is the point in contracts in football these days? Far from being a sign of security and longevity they just appear to be another commodity that can be ditched as and when either party see fit.
In that case why bother with them at all?