Talk Big, Pay Big – Give Sterling What He Wants
Raheem Sterling’s contract negotiations with Liverpool have reached a dangerous impasse; a junction at which fans begin to worry.
Brendan Rodgers has enthused about the “incredible offer” on the table with rumours of the forward’s advisors wanting more.
With Sterling being left out of tonight’s clash with Spurs down to a “knock”, one wonders whether this is all a ruse; a power play by the club. A marker being set down to Sterling and his agents that they hold the keys to his future and that they will refuse to be held to ransom.
Rodgers himself has been quoted as saying he is wary of Sterling being handed too much at such a young age.
“The club has offered an incredible deal for a young player,” he said.
“But if they get too much, too young then it really sabotages their development.”
“It is very important for young players, not just Raheem, that they have something to strive for.”
Whilst that ethos is all well and good – admirable even – the days of keeping footballers grounded are long gone. The modern game has been practically destroyed; in financial terms, football is morally bankrupt and attempting to penny pinch with these multi-millionaire footballers is futile.
The incredible offer Rodgers alludes to is reportedly £100,000 a week; Sterling wants more. Some might argue that’s quite greedy and of course they’d have a point but then in this day and age, what is the difference between 100k and 150k a week? Will the extra £50,000 a week keep the 20 year-old any more or less grounded?
Liverpool football club are one of the biggest sporting organisations in the world and it’s time they started showing it in terms of wages and transfer fees. Whilst no business wants to be held to ransom by their employees, the boat should always be pushed out when it comes to their very best.
Steven Gerrard is currently on £150,000 a week. His departure at the end of the season leaves a space as not only the highest wage earner but the club’s most valuable player. As a Liverpool youth product and arguably the team’s best player, is Sterling not deserving of that?
The Jamaican-born England international is Liverpool’s top scorer this season with 11 goals. He also has 6 assists to his name and created more chances than anyone else in the squad.
Imagine Glen Johnson, earning £110,000 per week, relegated to ‘squad player’ status earning more than one of your most important players; not just now but for a possible decade and more. What does that say to the rest of your players?
It’s a sticky position Rodgers, Ayre and Henry are in. They are responsible for the club’s future and as much as they would love to make an example of Sterling, it’s fairly clear they have chosen the wrong player to target in terms of putting their foot down regarding contract extensions.
Between Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and new wonder boy, Jordan Ibe, Liverpool could have a potentially world class forward line for years to come. With a current average age of just 21, the trio could also form the most potent England international attack since Sheringham, Shearer and Owen in the late nineties. Do they risk that future by playing fire with a prodigious young talent quite obviously willing to walk should his demands not be met?
Liverpool Football Club thrived before Raheem Sterling and they will be there long after he is gone but while he remains a Reds’ player, give him what he wants and reap the rewards for years to come.