16/12/2008

Long contracts - a bad thing?

Cole seems to be my theme of late, but this post is not about him really...

The topic of this post is a wide open door, but it has been spotted closed recently, so I figure I could use some cyberspace to violently try to kick it open.

It's not exactly a hot topic but the 5 year deal we handed Cole a few weeks ago can be used as an example, as it is in this context long term deals has been discussed lately.

Cole is a player I think is below starting XI quality, his first touch has improved but is still below par, his dribbling is non existent, his in the box abilities are questionable and he doesn't score on a regular basis but...

Signing Cole, as well as most other players, on a long term, is good business.

This gives us some much needed security, not constantly finding ourselves in a "blackmail" position when players (or at least their agent) demand a pay rise or threatens to quit since the contract runs out in less than a year. But even in a not so "blackmaily" situation, Who is in the best spot to renegotiate his contract, a player with 4 years or one with 2 years left on his contract?
The contract, nowadays, is more like options really. By having long term deals we are giving our selves some control over the player situation. We are still, most of the time, able to sell the player if finding him surplus to requirements, not risking him going on a Bosman. It's not like everyone in the PL stays the duration of his contract, is it?

We have to many under par first team players at the club at the moment, we pay their rather high salaries every week, and we are unable to find buyers for them. This could be an argument for shorter deals but the wage bill problem we find ourselves in at the moment has it's roots in the desperate situation 2 years ago. With the spending happy Eggert Magnússon at charge of the wallet we did some lousy business, but this shouldn't be taken as a sign that most long contracts are evil.

Obviously there are players that shouldn't be handed long contracts. Players past their best or known injury prone ones can be exceptions but as a rule handing a decent player a long term contact should be applauded.


Next topic: Signing players on long term deals if the PL bubble bursts can be a catastrophe...

3 comments:

Hakan said...

Though I agree that long contracts have many advantages, I still feel that in the case of Carlton Cole it might not have been such a brilliant idea. It depends, of course, to a large extent on his wages. If a player gets payed too much in relation to his ability, he is unlikely to be offered a better deal at another club and will thus be unwilling to leave even if WH wants him to. Do you remember Freddie?

Joppe - said...

But then you are really disaproving of irrational wages, not the length of the contract as such. Are you not?

Hakan said...

Fair point. What I was trying to say was that in this particular case I have a strong feeling that he is overpaid. And if that's the case a long contract doesn't make business sense. Even less so if the market is in free fall. WH must think higher of him than I do. On the other hand I'm delighted with the long contract given to Sears.