Clause or not, Liverpool's stance over Suarez looks smarter with every game

Suarez Liverpool

The Liverpool striker may or may not have had a release-clause in his previous contract, but the Reds are benefiting from his prolonged stay.

John W Henry appears to have admitted that there was a clause in the contract of Luis Suarez in the summer, saying that a bid in excess of £40million could have led to him leaving the club.

Liverpool denied such a clause existed over the summer and Suarez ended up staying at the club, and has so far scored 24 goals in the Premier League which sees them currently sit second in the table.

Henry is quoted, saying:What we’ve found over the years is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually not in England, in world football.

“It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.

“We sold Fernando Torres for £50m. We didn’t want to sell but we were forced to.

“For the first time [with Suarez] we took the position that we weren’t selling.”

Some have suggested that Henry may have been misquoted.  But whether he was misquoted or not, with each game that passes it seems more and more the case that Liverpool have played a masterstroke with Suarez.

The striker committed his future to the club with a new contract before Christmas and his form for the side has been terrific.

During an era where player-power seems to prevail – whether that is regarding the choice of manager from the more senior players, or instigating a move away from the club, Fenway Sports Group (FSG) just said no.

Making sure the player stayed at the club was a big statement of intent and ambition, subsequently backed up by giving the Uruguayan forward a significant pay-rise.

He could have been let go, then Liverpool would have lost a top quality player and their owners will have been accused of lacking ambition by selling to a club they hope to both compete with and beat.

Instead it has set a precedent that at least the players do not hold the aces; that firm leadership can prevail above player-power in the modern game.

images: © kong niffe, © dannymol

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