Dimitri Payet has signed a new deal with Marseille – and has taken an “unprecedented” pay cut in order to do so.
Having played a key role in Andre Villas-Boas’ side finishing second in Ligue 1, there was some doubt over his future at Stade Velodrome due to the club’s financial difficulties.
Payet still had two years to run on his deal but has elected instead to sign to fresh terms that contract him to OM until the end of the 2023-24 – by which time he will be 37.
But instead of these offering the player a boost in his salary, he has elected to take a substantial drop in his earnings to help the club.
“I’ve often said that I love this club and that my family feels good here,” the club's vice-captain explained. “The idea came into my head when the president said that the players should make an effort. And who better than me to lead by example?
“Saying you love the club is one thing, but showing it is better. I really want to be part of OM and help it grow.”
President Jacques-Henri Eyraud explained: “Dimitri came to me to tell me that he wanted to be, and I quote: ‘Marseillais for life.’
“He explained to me that he really wants to end his career here. And beyond finishing his career, pursue a real reconversion at the heart of the club he loves so much.
“He’s accepted to cut his salary for 30% for the 2021-22 season. In the two additional years, he has agreed that his basic salary will be cut between 40% and 60%.
“He’s given up his qualification bonuses for European competitions and a very large part of his payment over the last two years of his deal will only be guaranteed if he is a starter. If he’s not in a position to speak on the park, then his wage will be dramatically reduced for a player of his experience and his quality.
“This unprecedented effort shows the attachment that Payet has to this club.”
During the 2019-20 season, which was aborted after 28 matches, Payet scored nine times and laid on a further four goals for OM.