Premier League - Liverpool to adopt new contract strategy

Liverpool have decided to modify their wage structure to stop them being lumbered with unwanted big earners.

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Liverpool's fans hold up scarves and banners

The likes of Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani have pocketed huge weekly wages at the club in recent years despite barely figuring in the first team squad.

Now managing director Ian Ayre says the club will offer lower basic wages and instead reward players with performance-related deals.

"The attitude I’m trying to put forward when we’re negotiating with agents is that we want to do a contract which is fair for both sides," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"Fair often means the right amount of reward for a player who delivers. Everyone we bring through the door we expect to perform and do the best they can. As long as any player does that they should be rewarded for it.

"I’m not one of those who subscribes to the idea that players are necessarily overpaid. I think they make a huge contribution to the biggest league in the world.

"From the football club’s perspective, our view has to be that people are rewarded for contributing towards what we achieve. As long as contracts are structured in that way then everyone wins.

"If a player performs then he will be rewarded. That’s the philosophy of the contracts we are offering and signing."

Ayre also said that Liverpool's principal owner John Henry remains fully committed to furthering the club's progress despite his continued absence from Anfield.

The American, the lead figure in Fenway Sports Group who bought the Merseysiders in October 2010, has yet to attend a game this season, although business partner and Reds chairman Tom Werner has been present on occasions and will be again for the visit of Norwich on Saturday.

But Ayre insisted the lack of Henry's presence to see his second major sports investment - his other being the Boston Red Sox baseball team - does not mean anything. "I wouldn't read anything into John not being here," Ayre said.

"Two things: firstly he has had lot of work to do on the Boston Red Sox this year, they are approaching their pre-season now. Secondly, he also became a father again quite recently so he's likely been busy changing nappies!

"I speak to John very regularly and he's really pleased with the way things are going with the team. I know he keeps in contact with Brendan (Rodgers) regularly. I'm sure we will see him here soon.

"John's commitment to Liverpool isn't about him being at games. It's about him being involved and committed and being supportive. All that happens on a consistent basis. We get great support from both John and Tom.

"I was over in Boston recently and met with all the different investors in FSG and they are greatly supportive for what we're trying to achieve and are 100 per cent behind us."

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