Luis Suarez: Why Liverpool Are Playing with House Money

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJuly 18, 2013

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21:  A dejected Luis Suarez of Liverpool reacts as his team win on the night but exit the competition during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Zenit St Petersburg at Anfield on February 21, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The possibility of Liverpool selling Luis Suárez has created so many misconceptions about his transfer situation. 

Suárez and his agent, Pere Guardiola, the brother of Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, did not agree to a standard £40 million buyout clause with Liverpool. 

If there was a regular £40 million buyout clauseArsenal wouldn't have lodged a £30 million bid for Suárez.

James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo reported in May: "The Echo understands that reports in Spain that Suárez has a £40 million buyout clause in his contract are incorrect."

The misunderstanding of Suárez's contract originates from Pere stating clubs that bid £40 million+ have the contractual right to speak with his client, an act which bypasses tapping up infringements, via Andy Hunter at The Guardian:

Liverpool are obliged to inform Luis Suárez of any club prepared to activate a clause, believed to be in excess of £40 million, that was included in the new four-year contract he signed last August. The clause will trigger negotiations should he wish to speak to that club, but not an automatic sale.

There's a substantial difference from Suárez being able to talk to other clubs compared to Liverpool being legally obligated to sell him for £40 million.

So, Liverpool, not Suárez and his management, are in the power position. 

Only one player scored more Premier League goals than Suárez last seasonRobin van Persie, who played five more games.

Of Premier League players who scored 15 league goals or more, Suárez had the highest shots created and dribbles per game average. 

Selling Suárez would set the Reds back from winning their first Premier League title, which is the goal of Reds principal owner John W. Henry. 

Would Henry use Suárez's unrest as a convenient reason to sell the Uruguayan international after the string of negative press he's heaped upon the club? 

No. In fact, hell no! 

The same haters who use the moral high ground to devalue Suárez's footballing achievements probably watched every Liverpool game he played last season desperately trying to find additional reasons to hate him. 

More people watching Liverpool means higher TV ratings, therefore generating money for the club.

This quote from No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., "Love me or hate me, you're gonna watch me," is applicable to Suárez. 

Oh, and Henry hasn't been this holier-than-thou owner who certain football pundits want him to be when it comes to dealing with Suárez.

Just look at Henry's Boston Red Sox, via Dan Shaughnessy at The Boston Globe in 2003:

This Red Sox-Yankee playoff, which could still be one for the ages, has at least temporarily deteriorated into a WWE steel-cage match. 

Let's not forget that we are here because of the irresponsible actions of one man: Pedro Martínez.

Sox fans don't like to hear this, but Pedro was an embarrassment and a disgrace to baseball Saturday. He gets away with it because he's Pedro.

And the Sox front office enables him, just as they do Manny Ramirez.

What happened to David Ortiz in 2009 after it was revealed he had tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003 as a member of the Red Sox? Nothing. 

In 2011, John Lackey filed for divorce whilst his wife was battling cancer, but he's still pitching for the Red Sox. 

Drake Britton was arrested for reckless driving and driving under the influence in March—three months later, he was called up for the Red Sox.

Point being, the "damage to the brand" angle which the anti-Suárez brigade regurgitate ad nauseam is irrelevant when it comes to an ownership under Henry, as he doesn't exhibit a moral superiority complex. 

But why keep an unhappy Suárez? 

"Torres wasn't giving his best on the pitch for Liverpool, and that is why it was a mistake to keep him," Jamie Carragher from Sky Sports via said. "Suárez is a slightly different character to Fernando Torres."

Carragher is alluding to Suárez's street fighter persona, which is the primary reason why he cannot control his emotions on the field.

The implication that Suárez would perform poorly under duress is incorrect given that once he plays football, he becomes ultra-competitive

During the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Technical Study Group named him as an "outstanding player" despite Groningen blocking his move to Ajax.

Luis Suárez (12-13)N/A238.152.72.9
Edinson Cavani (12-13)£55M295.440.91.1
Falcao (12-13)£52M284.410.91.0
Fernando Torres (10-11)£50M99.921.01.3
Andy Carroll (10-11)£35M116.831.20.5
Sergio Agüero (10-11)£35M206.321.22.2

[1] TF = transfer fee, G = goals, SPG = shots per goal, A = assists, SCPG = shots created per game, DPG = dribbles per game

Here's a statistical evaluation of Suárez compared to select forwards prior to a big-money move. 

"Suárez has got three years left on his contract," Brendan Rodgers said, via The Guardian

Henry, Ian Ayre and the Liverpool hierarchy are playing with house money.

They can wait for a frantic, knee-jerk and ridiculously inflated transfer fee, as was the case with Torres.

"I was surprised Monday morning to receive an offer [from Chelsea for Fernando Torres] in that amount," Henry said, via David Conn at The Guardian

If you support Liverpool, understand that world-class footballers are ambitious, and what Suárez is doing right now is what Steven Gerrard once did, via Gerrard: My Autobiography:

The first time Rafa [Benítez, manager at the time] and Rick [Parry, chief executive at the time] cornered me, I said: "Look, how can I seriously sign a four or five year contract now when we are fighting for fourth or fifth place in the Premiership?"


The papers went crazy over Chelsea's interest. "£32million!" screamed Tuesday's headlines.

When it all kicked off, Rick hurriedly called Struan [Marshall, Gerrard's agent] and said: "That offer is still there. Sorry it took so long. It's there."

Were they for real? I just didn't know any more with Liverpool. Were Liverpool talking about a new contract just to keep the fans onside while they flogged me to Chelsea? I had to know, so I decided to force their hand. 

I rang Struan. "Struan, I'm going to find out whether they want to sell me. Put in a transfer request." Struan phoned Liverpool. "Take this call as a transfer request," Struan told them. "We will back it up in writing if you need us to. But this is it."

Bang. In went the transfer request, a hand-grenade rolled into the Liverpool boardroom. 

That was in 2005.

Fast-forward to the present

There's always hope for Suárez. 



Follow @allanjiangLIVE

Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.comFox Soccer and


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