If ever there was proof needed that Liverpool may have more business savvy than Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United and Manchester City, the successful contractual negotiations with player-of-the-half-season Luis Suarez may be it.
Last week, HITC argued in this article how it would be prudent - in both a financial and footballing sense - for Liverpool to offer Suarez a mammoth contract, so that the reliable goal-scoring phenomenon could enjoy a similar earnings power to the elite strikers in world soccer.
Reportedly, Suarez, 26, will now pocket £175,000 per week, potentially rising to £200k. While this falls someway short of Wayne Rooney's alleged £250k per week salary, or even Sergio Aguero's handsome £200k, at Manchester City, it is still much more than Robert Lewandowski and international team-mate Edinson Cavani.
When studying data from this season alone - in each player's respective division - Liverpool's Suarez is actually pound-for-pound still far more valuable than the most efficient forwards plying their trade in Europe's top leagues.
For instance, if Suarez - now on £175k a week - retained his current efficiency in front of goal (he has already returned 28 goals or assists from 1,077 minutes of Premier League football), then he would go on to score or set-up a further 49 goals or assists if he featured in every single minute left in England's top tier.
Or, in news that will no doubt delight Liverpool's accountants, that's £93,000 for every goal / assist (data taken from a half-year salary).
To compare, Aguero has either scored or assisted 20 times in 1,116 minutes. If the Argentine (currently injured) was to feature in all available matches to Manchester City from now until the end of the season, then he would impact the scoreline 33 times, meaning City would pay him £157,575 for every goal or assist.
Wayne Rooney earns more than both Suarez and Aguero, but if he were to score or assist at his current rate of once every 71 minutes, then Manchester United would pay him £250k every time he effects the scoreline in a positive manner (by my estimates, 26 times from now until the season's end).
In Spain's Primera Division, Real Madrid would pay Cristiano Ronaldo £260k for every one of his estimated 34 goals or assists he has left in him in La Liga (if he maintained his current productivity of one every 63 minutes).
Barcelona, meanwhile, would give Lionel Messi £223,600 for each of the 30 goals / assists he could end up scoring (currently, he has returned 12 combined goals and assists from 760 minutes).
Enjoying £110k a week at Borussia Dortmund is Robert Lewandowski who has, thus far, been responsible for 17 goals in 1,463 minutes of Bundesliga football. Lewandowski has 17 more left in him if he plays in every minute, which would mean BVB would be paying him £168,235 per goal / assist.
And finally, Edinson Cavani, on a similar salary to Suarez at £160k per week. He has scored or assisted once every 88 minutes, so Paris Saint Germain would be paying him £220k for every goal / assist if he maintained that ratio until the Ligue 1 season's end.
Suarez is no doubt pleased that his form has been rewarded with what appears on paper to be a huge weekly wage, yet this data demonstrates that the Liverpool forward remains better value for money than the biggest and best in European football.
Is this also proof that Liverpool have more business acumen than their peers ?
image: © jikatu