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Coincidentally I was thinking about this earlier today (the bigger picture of player power I mean).
I think you should be careful when talking about 'refusing to play'; Modric has refused to play in America, he didn't travel. Tevez obviously refused to play last season. To the best of my memory Berbatov didn't refuse per se, Jol didn't select him as he - probably rightly - didn't think he'd put the graft in. I've definitely been to work and not put the graft when I've been annoyed with my bosses (I'll do it tomorrow!); I'm not saying it's right but it's different to outright refusing.
Clubs don't drag them through court because what would be the point? Practically speaking there are loads of stages to go through before that (docking wages etc), and doing something so hostile would destroy any chance they may have of rebuilding the relationship with the player. If the player leaves, part of their leaving deal will be to forego any breach of contract, the lawyers'll get that one in for sure.
I actually think there's been a turn in the tide on this; things like the response to Modric last year and Tevez have shown a willingness for clubs to put their feet down, and it's been recognised that it's gone too far. The Modric situation will be very interesting in seeing what happens next, and for that as much as anything I'd like him to stay (although clearly he's offski).
It's a difficult one for me, but I think on the whole, the players who refuse to play or train or come on as sub or......IMO, are (have been so far) in the wrong. I just can't equate their 'plight' with say nurses, when their pensions are changed.
The players, AFAIK, didn't have a change of working condition. OK, they may have had a change of manager, but that is to be expected in all walks of life. I could semi understand it, if the club was being relegated, but even then I would expect a player to see both the highs and lows of a club as part of playing there.
Maybe if it was turned round and the club simply refused to pay the player or play him - what would the player be saying - a:
'....sorry blah, we don't want to pay you this month as the board doesn't think its head is in the right place to effect the bank transfer.....'.
As with all things like this though, I can't quite grasp where that invisible line is. Am I objecting simply because the players are paid so much - and if so at what point does the salary money then make it right/wrong for a person to withhold their labour (£200 a week? £500 a week? £1000 a week....?)?
I think in this case I object, not because of the money they're being paid, but simply because I don't think that 'wanting something else' is a valid reason for this type of action. I don't think that '....I am ambitious, and I now want to play for blah.....' is anywhere near a good enough reason.
i disagree. well i would, wouldnt i.
i reckon after last summer when modric asked to leave, levy convinced him to stay on 1 more to prove we can get back in the CL & compete.
he promised to let him go if we didnt.
we didnt, yet he still isnt letting modric go.
u may say he is, but by asking for 40m he isnt.
thats an unfair price tag.
modric stayed on a year out of good faith.
in the end he wasted another year of his short career on us.
& he doesnt want to miss out on playing CL football again.
i now it will be hard for some of u to accept, but he deserves to be at a much better team than us.
good luck modric. u we're superb for us.
at least we save money on his wages because of his actions.
levy is playing a dangerous game. force an unhappy modric to stay would be silly. he wouldnt give his all or play as well.
his value would plummet too.
but it all depends on what is being offered.
if madrid are offering 27m, than i agree thats too low.
30m with adds on taking it up to 35m sound fair.
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To be honest, I don't care what (if anything) was 'promised' on either side - does that make sense? That again just seems to be newspaper headline stuff. Is it a fact - and even if it is a fact, how does it change the contract? If the player/club agree on something - then change the contract to reflect that agreement.
What is a fact though, is that the players all sign contracts - as do the clubs. They are negotiated. They're not like a typical contract for someone like you and me, where we don't have a say.
If a player thinks they're good and may then want to leave for a 'better' club, then add in a clause to that effect. Add in a max price clause.... add in contract review periods and buy out clauses. The player pays an agent silly money to act on his behalf. If the contract no longer suits the player, I'm not sure that it's the club that's in the wrong. Ditto if the contract no longer suits the club. They just can't stop paying the player (unless that's in the contract) - they have to get the player to re-negotiate.
If a player wants to leave then it's not really up to the manager/chairman to persuade the player to stay per se - the contract says when the player can go and under what conditions. Just because the player wants to go, isn't (IMHO) a valid enough reason.
In Modders specific case, if he spoke with Levy/'arry and said he wanted to go last season, he still had a contract at that point - so that is the overriding factor, not his wants. Spurs were under no obligation to sell him then, and AFAIK they aren't now (not unless there's a condition in the contract). So why should Spurs say to Modric '...oh, you want to leave? OK. What price do you want to go at? £Xm? Yeah fine. There you go.....Bye...'. Why should Modric dictate the conditions? The contract that all parties signed should dictate the conditions.