• Tottenham Hotspur Message Board

  • Jlock Jlock Jul 22, 2012 11:42 Flag

    Player Power

    I'm in two minds here.
    Generally, I feel that it is anyone's 'right' to withhold labour. Typically though, I think that the option should be used with caution as it is last resort to use when being 'oppressed' or when your employer changes your working conditions.

    I find it difficult to see 'oppression' in an EPL footballers case though. They sign contracts. The contracts are for a period of time and for a value. They are aware of all the conditions at the outset. The conditions tend not to change - and if/when they do the contracts appear to be re-negotiated and extended in the players favour.

    I'm then at a loss at the recent spate of players that seems to think it valid to withhold their labour - whether that's manifested in not training, not coming off the bench....blah blah. I just don't see that they have a leg to stand on.

    If a player wants to leave a club.. Fine. If the chairman/manager persuade him to stay. Fine. If he then subsequently wants to leave because of changed circumstances. Fine. BUT in all that he has to realise that he has a contract that he agreed to. If the chairman/manager promised him 'stuff', then his agent should have seen to it that those promises were added as clauses to the contract. That is what the agent is there for.

    The 'my head isn't right' bit is a bit galling. Even if a player is on £1000 a week it's galling - let alone £10,000 pw....If a player isn't sure about the future, then sign a shorter contract or have safeguards built in that allow you to leave should x or y occur.

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    • Im with you on this John Premiership players get paid an obscene amount of money and sign legally binding contracts but clubs seem to scared to drag a player through the court for breech of said contract.

      Why is this? is it for reasons i just cannot understand?
      recent examples: Berbatov/VanPersie/Fabregas/Modric
      has player power finally become greater than the clubs they play for? have clubs become to scared to stand up to a player? are contracts just not worth the paper they printed on anymore?.

      Football seems to be heading down an ugly road were players rule the game and do what they want when they want i think it is time clubs started standing up for themselves and taking a player to court and letting them rot in the reserves for breech of contract otherwise we will see this trend continue.

      We saw last season player power wrongly get rid of Villas Boas at Chelsea.

      Before that Fabregas hold Arsenal to ransom before that Bebatov stab my beloved Tottenham in the heart.

      Before that Sol Judas Campbell Shove it to us and walking away on a free.

      this will go on and on aslong as Clubs let players get away with it it's about time clubs took back the power in football grew a pair and stand up to contract rebel players that is the only way football will move forward.

      The game is turning into a ugly scene were players demand far to much money have over inflated transfer fee's agent's become more and more corrupt and more and more clubs go out of business because the cost of competing is to great and player power destroy's clubs.

      Were does this end? the death as football as we know it? it's not about what club you support but about the 'DEATH' of the great game of football as we know and love it and club after club going out of business trying to keep up with supporter demand for sucess and bending over backwards to please a player that is shafting the club in the long term............

      • 2 Replies to Berkshire Yid
      • BY,
        I don't think it's the money side that pees me off. That's just a fluke of the business they happen to be in.
        It just seems wrong that a player, who has agents to advise him, signs a contract (and these contracts cover early release, exceptional circumstances etc) and then just simply says '....I now want blah, so I'm feeling aggrieved and I'm going to stop working until you let me have what I want.....' - and totally ignores what they've signed.
        If they have doubts, then don't sign a long contract. Build in get out clauses - a contract is a two way thing. It's not beyond the wit of man. It's not like a standard employment contract, where an employee has no say and it's a case of '...take it or leave it...'.
        But I bet, the players go for the long contracts, because the clubs say '....look, if you sign for 4 years, we'll give you an extra £10k pw...that's £2m....' .

      • 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).

    • Sfer,
      I'm not sure all contracts are weighted in the favour of the player. as appears to be the case with the 'big' names quoted. In these cases the club seems to have the contract sorted. The problem is that the player simply ignores the contract.
      I'm also not sure that a contract for an EPL or any other player is different to a contract for any other type of profession, apart from values and number of conditions.
      If I signed a contract tomorrow for a year or 4 years, with a 3 month termination on either side, I could still ignore the contract and just not work. The employer cannot force me to work Similarly, if the employer simply closes his doors to me and refuses to pay, I'm stuffed. It comes down to how the contract is enforced.
      That was why I was trying to get it clear in my own mind whether I objected to these prima donnas because of their pay - and I think to me, my objection is nothing to do with money (the money galls me irrespective of whether they're on 'strike' or not), just the fact that the players think they are justified in just stopping work.
      If I signed a 4 year deal, without a get out clause and then 1 year on decided I no longer wanted to continue, I would expect the customer to sue me for damages.

      In reality all contracts rely on 'good will'. I think what confuses the issue here is the grey area between business contract and employment law. It seems that the player is given the benefit of employment law rather than the player being seen as a business entity contracting a service. Maybe that would be a solution. IE if the player was a business ie Luka Modric Ltd was the employer of Luka Modric and LM Ltd then contracted LM services to whatever club. Maybe then the clubs could sue more easily without being taken to the Court of Human Rights.

    • Without wishing to analyse this too far, as is the usual case with you John, I will take one more shot at it.

      I never said all contracts are weighted in the players favour. What I was trying to say was that the more "important" the signing the more the contract is weighted towards the wants of the player. Some have houses and cars thrown in as part of the deal and in cases where the player actually does not want to sign for the club, the demands get even more freaky until either the club says "hold on this is getting ridiculous" and pull out OR the player realises that he can't shake off the pursuing club with outrgaeous demands and either signs on the basis that the offer is ridiculously good OR he tells the club the truth i.e. I dont want to sign for you. At the very least its a great way for the player to show his current club how much in demand he is so that he can ask for more money. There is certainly a similarity there with ordinary contract workers.

      How on earth can you say there is no difference between a contract that a PL player signs and one that you might sign?? I have already pointed out the difference - a PL player is an asset which is worth a lot of money whereas, unless you can tell me different, anyone that offers you a contract is not likely to sell you to someone else for a few million quid. Yes, all contracts are negotiable and some normal contractors ask for extra holidays or less hours etc but that is where most of the similarities end.

      "If I signed a contract tomorrow for a year or 4 years, with a 3 month termination on either side, I could still ignore the contract and just not work. The employer cannot force me to work Similarly, if the employer simply closes his doors to me and refuses to pay, I'm stuffed. It comes down to how the contract is enforced."

      Not sure where you thought this was true John. As someone that puts contrators into work every week I can tell you there is a huge difference in what you say and reality. Yes, as a Contractor you could ignore the contract and just not turn up. There would be a facility in the contract for the hirer to sue you but it very rarely happens (I have only seen it twice in 23 years) mainly because the likelihood of the hirer getting anything out of the contractor would be unlikely and therefore why bother with the cost and hassle.

      However, if the hirer "simply closes his doors" the Contractor would be very likely to pursue them for compensation. After all, he could probably get a no win - no fee Lawyer, the Law is very definitly behind him, and there might be some assets that the hirer has that could provide some compensation. Again, whether meant or not, the contract is weighted in the contractors favour and when you look at the way employment law has been going over the last few years this is now a common theme.

      They might want to sue you John - but they wouldn't. I have seen so many cases of this I can pretty much guarantee it.

      Your last paragrapgh does make some sense although I can't see how business contracts and employment contracts are linked. Contracts "of" or "for" services are all under the national terms of Employment Law although the difference is that a Contract of Services comes under a general banner as these are all standardised to include certain conditions whilst Contract for Services are negotiable between the Hirer and the Contractor. As an example, if the Hirer and the Contractor agreed to no notice period being included in the contract that would be ok whereas that would not be allowed in a Contract of Services where the employee is eactly that - an employee. There again, if the employer wanted to get rid of the employee he would have to pay to do so BUT if the employee simply walked away without working his notice - what can the employer do about it?? Bugger all - again weighted in the employee's favour. (Cont)

    • cont.....

      I agree with you about the salaries these PL players get being totally out of proportion but if you really can't see the difference between the contacts they sign (ie. the asset they become once they sign on the dotted line) and the contracts the man on the street might sign - well, its yet another of those ocassions then you are just John being John. ie. you cant possibly be wrong.

    • Sfre,
      Nothing about me not being wrong.
      I don't see the difference still - it seems to come down to common practice. Typically players are (the good ones) head hunted all the time.
      AFAIK when a player is 'sold' the club is simply willing to accept payment in lieu of contract. That is all that occurs. If a player sees out their contract, they are not 'sold' (ie the player isn't sold). When a player's contract is bought out, you are not in effect selling the player as much as buying out the remainder of the contract. You can't sell a player to a club that they don't want to go to. A player can't be sold unless the players wants to be sold. It's not like slavery (although I think a player likened it a while back).
      So although it is uncommon, I would bet that a few 'high flyers' in other industries have contracts 'bought out' by prospective employees. Any employee is an asset - just that as you say, a player in the EPL is an asset that is potentially worth millions.

    • Normal day to day employees are not assets that can be sold. A Contract of Services is a normal employment contract with no end date - you cant sell and but those FFS! Only in the top echelons might there be a case for buying out a contract (but that would be a fixed term contract for services) but even then the money is only what the contract is actually worth ie. what is due to be paid during that fixed amount of time, not the millions that the PL players exchange hands for.

      Golden handshakes are sometimes used to entice someone from one Board to another but again that has nothing to do with the contract - if anything it proves that contracts for service are, in this regard, worthless.

      "when a player is 'sold' the club is simply willing to accept payment in lieu of contract." - Are you serious? That might be true in cases where the player becomes surplus to requirements but its certainly not true in the cases you have raised. Does RVP get paid £35 Million a year? Of course not, they are selling him - the person. A club might even sell a player for less than the contract is worth just to get them off their books.

      Of course players get a say in who they are sold to but how much is on the table makes a big difference in that.

      "So although it is uncommon, I would bet that a few 'high flyers' in other industries have contracts 'bought out' by prospective employees. Any employee is an asset - just that as you say, a player in the EPL is an asset that is potentially worth millions." NO John. Those "high flyers" you mention are on short term contracts which can be terminated by either party. A future employer is not buying the contract, that is terminated, and a new one starts when the worker signs it. A normal employee, on a contract of services, cannot have his/her contract bought. He ends his employment and starts somewhere else.

      A PL player IS different. The worth of the contract is not the same. It is not necessarily the same as the worth of the money due on it. The buying club is buying an asset that belongs to someone else and the owning club is selling an asset that they own. I don't know how I can explain the difference between a PL contract and a normal employment contract any simpler. If you still believe they are the same then....you are John being John and once again refusing to see what is staring you in the face just because you can't admit defeat.

      Do you know what, I thought twice about writing my first post on this thread because I had a sneaky feeling this might happen. I wish I had listened to my gut instinct and ignored it. Well I won't make that mistake again. Well done John.

    • '...Normal day to day employees are not assets that can be sold. A Contract of Services is a normal employment contract with no end date - you cant sell and but those FFS!...'

      No, I'd agree, that a normal employment contract is not 'bought out' by the next employer (I would add a proviso there, that I've seen an equivalent of 'buying' a contract when a company is bought, and the new company wants to retain certain key staff). But with fixed term contracts - ie where you sign for a period of time, then AFAIK there's no difference between a footballers contract and any other (values, clauses may differ, but they will also differ footballer to footballer).

      '"when a player is 'sold' the club is simply willing to accept payment in lieu of contract." - Are you serious? '

      Totally - see this site for how footballers 'contracts' evolved http://www.epltalk.com/the-curious-case-of-football-contracts-25977.

      A players worth on the transfer market is not to do with how much he's paid, but how much any club is willing to 'buy out' the contract from the holding club.

      '...Does RVP get paid £35 Million a year? Of course not, they are selling him - the person. A club might even sell a player for less than the contract is worth just to get them off their books. ....'

      He doesn't have to be paid £35m to be worth £80m to someone who wants to pay that amount. The contract 'wages' amount isn't the worth that I'm talking about. When I say 'buying out' the contract, I'm talking about the buying club offering the holding club whatever money they will accept to then release the player from the contract.

      It is the 'contract' that is bough out, AFAIK, not the player bought - if that makes sense. A subtle distiction, but you see the effect when a player is on a long contract - and why a player becomes cheaper as the term left on the contract diminishes. The only time that doesn't always hold true is when you then get a bidding war. If say Utd, and Madrid want RVP, then his price will be determined by how high the two clubs will bid. The owning club then has ti weigh up if the price now is acceptable - or whether they refuse the price and run the risk of the player going for free at the end of the contract anyway. So with Modric now, Levy could hold on for £40m, as Modric is on a 4 year deal. The only issue there is what we've seen - the player then refuses to train/play/go on a promotional tour etc....
      Which takes me back to my point - irrespective of the money involved, is/are the players justified in withholding their services, simply because they no longer 'want' to be at the current club? That to me is the issue. It also then applies to an EPL player, a Ryman's league player ... the finance is IMHO irrelevant when talking about whether it is 'right' or 'wrong' to deliberately withhold the service that the player has willingly contracted to provide.

    • There's also the sign a contract extension that automatically gives the club a leg up on future negotiations (remember Bale recently re-upped...smart move by Levy, not so much to lock Bale in, but for the leverage a new extension gives at the bargaining table.

      Modric admitted himself that when he was at his former club he signed a 10 year deal knowing that it would help the club should anyone come knocking (he signed after people got wind of who he was at the international level).

      We can kid ourselves as much as we want when one of our best players signs an extension (I think Walker signed one too recently, no?), but at the end of the day its all about business (and it is a big business that we're talking about!

    • This post, like so many of your others John, is so full of hypocritical and contradictory comments compared to your other posts that it would be funny if not so sad.

      Once again you twist and squirm your words in order to fit your hypothesis. I thought, rather stupidly as it turns out, that I would try debating with you but no one can have a sensible debate with someone who dodges and dives like you do.

      So, I give up. This site used to be fun. Spurs fans asking questions, posting thoughts, a bit of light micky taking, fending off the rogue Ar$e supporters that ventured over - all taken with a pinch of salt, a bit of a laugh - nothing too heavy. Not any more - since you have come on here John, with your endless statistic driven waffle and nonsensical and prolific posts, it has become unbearable and that is a very big shame.

      You dominate the board, which would not necessarily be a bad thing if you were halfway reasonable, and, to be frank, you are boring me to death. I cannot be bothered to point out your inconsistences, only to see a farcical response, any longer.

      You, and maybe some others on here, will be glad to know that I will not even be tempted to read or respond to any future post you add to this board. I would rather spend my time arguing with Ar$e supporters than you Jonh. Thats how desperate you make me feel.

      Its no wonder that since your arrival on this board there are less and less posts, regulars that no longer post and threads that go on ad infinitum with your incredibly dull rambling, incoherent drivel.

      Enjoy arguing with yourself John.

      Sfer - over and out.

    • Sfer,
      I don't recall forcing you to read my posts or even forcing you to reply. AFAIK, you chose both those actions.
      If you don't want to 'discuss' anything with me, then don't. That's quite simple as far as I can see.

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