Liverpool Admit Arsenal DID Trigger £40m Suarez Clause But They Refused To Sell
Liverpool’s John Henry has revealed Arsenal DID trigger a clause in Luis Suarez’s contract last summer but claims the club simply refused to sell the striker
The January transfer window may have slammed shut but clubs will still be working hard behind the scenes at identifying targets for the summer, so we’ll bring you all the latest news, gossip and rumours. Today, some sensational quotes from J. W Henry.
Some sensational quotes coming from the US this morning where Liverpool owner John Henry has revealed that Arsenal DID trigger a clause in Luis Suarez’s contract last summer but claims the club simply refused to sell the striker, according to the Telegraph.
Arsenal’s interest in Suarez dominated the summer transfer window with the north Londoners frustrated in their attempts to sign the Uruguayan after seeing a £40m + £1 bid rejected by Liverpool.
The Gunners made the bid believing that it would trigger a £40m release clause in the 26-year-old’s contract, with Suarez even going public with his desire to make the move insisting the club had to ‘keep to their word’ and let him leave in search of Champions League football.
Liverpool stood firm and refused to sell their star man though, with the club at the time insisting they were within their rights to not sell as there was some confusion over the exact terms of the clause.
However, owner J W Henry has now revealed Arsenal did trigger a buy-out clause in the players contract, but the Anfield club simply decided not to sell as “contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England”. Speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference this weekend, Henry said:
“Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League which is arguably the top soccer league in the world,”
“And he had a buy-out clause – I don’t know what degree I should go into this – but he had a buy-out clause of £40million – more than 60 million (US) dollars. So Arsenal, one of our prime rivals this year… they offered £40million and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause.
“But what we’ve found over the years is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually not in England, in world football. It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.
“We sold Fernando Torres for £50million. We didn’t want to sell but we were forced to.
“For the first time (with Suarez) we took the position that we weren’t selling.
“Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position we’re just not selling and it’s been great for Luis, it’s been great for us, and what will happen at the end of year… I think we”re going to make Champions League and we have a small chance of winning the Premier League this year.
“We have three gentlemen up front: Suarez, (Raheem) Sterling and (Daniel) Sturridge. Those three are young, and I think Luis and those three could be together for a long time.”
This is certainly an interesting turn of events and goes a long way to explaining last summers events. At the time, Arsenal were mocked for their attempts to sign Suarez as it was believed the buy-out didn’t actually exist, but it turns out the Gunners did in fact trigger the clause only for Liverpool to refuse to honor it.
Henry claimed last summer that selling to a direct rival like Arsenal would be ludicrous, so it seems the club just took the position that they weren’t going to sell, irrespective of the players release clause.
I’m not sure if there has ever been a case like this before in England, but Henry’s comments suggest that Liverpool took a huge risk that Arsenal, and Suarez, wouldn’t take them to court for breach of contract.
It was a bold move by the Merseysiders and one that’s certainly paid off for them this season as they currently sit second in the Premier League table on goal difference from Arsenal, with Suarez forging a devastating strike partnership with Daniel Sturridge.
What do Arsenal and Liverpool fans make of this? Share your views below.
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