John Henry: "Arsenal DID Activate Suarez's Buyout Clause, We Refused Anyway."

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John Henry: "Arsenal DID Activate Suarez's Buyout Clause, We Refused Anyway." - Page 2 Empty Re: John Henry: "Arsenal DID Activate Suarez's Buyout Clause, We Refused Anyway."

Post by Red Alert Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:13 am

chinomaster182 wrote:He's a big fat liar about Torres though, Damien Comolli certainly planned it and LFC made one heck of a deal with him.

He's just throwing out fan rhetoric, i wouldnt pay too much attention.

No, Liverpool genuinely didn't want to sell Torres at the time.

We bought Suarez to play with Torres, but Chelsea activated an ACTUAL buy out clause of 50m for him.

Only 2 players have had buy out clauses for Liverpool in the past, Torres at 50m, and Reina at 25m I think it was.

Luis Suarez currently has one, but that was after he signed the new contract in January.

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Post by stevieg8 Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:21 am

MJGunner wrote:Arsenal had the legal right to speak to Suarez and sign him if he agreed but Liverpool just blocked the move and 'gambled' on Arsenal not taking them to court.

But with his new contract, the old clause is obsolete.

The bolded section is the wording of an Arsenal twitter feed, the quotes that are being reported don't include anything about Arsenal taking Liverpool to court and I would be absolutely shocked to hear that the full answer made a reference. That's because Arsenal has almost no recourse here, they never would've been able to take Liverpool to court regardless, and I'm sure Henry knows that. As they weren't a party to the contract, the only thing they could do is sue for damages, which would be fairly difficult to quantify in a court of law. The only person that could really take action here is Luis, and he chose not to over the summer (you'll remember, following the advice of the PFA after they reviewed the contract).

Anyway, I work with contract law 70 hours a week, so I'm going to address this once and then try to move on - everybody read and pay close attention, I don't want to have to repeat myself. Two disclaimers: (a) my understanding and experience is that UK and US contract law are incredibly similar, but any minor differences which impact this post are probably beyond my knowledge, feel free to correct me where necessary; and (b) without actually being able to review the contract, we can only try to infer the details from the facts we do know, which are as follows:

1. Per Henry's quote, there was some form of 40m release clause in Suarez's contract.
2. Arsenal bid 40m+1.
3. Liverpool did not grant Arsenal the right to negotiate with Suarez.
4. The PFA, a body dedicated to ensuring that the contracts of players are fairly written and enforced, advised Suarez not to pursue legal action.
5. Suarez did not pursue legal action.

Most contracts in any field, but particularly those in football, include a form of confidentiality clause which would make it a breach of contract for the employee to disclose the terms. In event of a breach of contract, the offending party loses their legal protections and rights to recourse under the contract. If this happens and the employee attempts to enforce the contract through litigation, whether there was an initial breach by the employee would be subject to the review of a judge, so there's some wiggle room on both sides - everybody needs to estimate whether their case would be strong enough for court and weigh that chance against the cost.

The complication here is that the MO in European football is to treat contracts with somewhat less respect than typically afforded them in other spheres. Despite managers mentioning players in interviews, more leaks during transfer season than the Titanic, and agents openly referencing (and sometimes inventing) teams' interest, how often do you hear about tapping up restrictions actually being enforced? The very nature of the transfer market regularly leads teams to violate contract terms.

So Arsenal operated the way the market typically operates - they, most likely through Guardiola, learned the terms of the release clause, and bid enough to activate it. Their one mistake is that the precise nature of their bid provided clear evidence of a breach of contract on Suarez's part - someone in his camp provided a competitor with confidential terms. Arsenal's approach was just the way everyone operates.

Well there's one problem - it's been reported both that one of the major motivating factors in FSG entering the Premier League was the FFP proposals, and also that John Henry has been disappointed in the results of those measures. European football is set up in an anti-competitive system, and Henry saw FFP as a step towards changing that. To put it lightly, this hasn't happened.

So this time, when the result was going to be losing his top player before a pivotal season, Henry saw he had a legal right (due to Suarez's breach of contract) to stand his ground and took advantage of it. This decision has a number of cons - by not following the unwritten rules of the market and accepting the bid, Henry potentially hurt business relationships with both a) Arsenal and b) Suarez, who both would have been aware of Liverpool's decision and the underpinning argument months ago. What we can be certain is not a con is the risk of legal action from Suarez - it'd be tough to find a judge that would rule in his favor, and you can be sure that both FSG's and Suarez's legal teams knew that and said as much.

So now we ask why John Henry chose to disclose this information, which could spread the damage to relationships with other clubs (who now will think Liverpool aren't playing by the unspoken rules) and other players, both in our own dressing room and with other teams (who now will think Liverpool might not respect their wishes if they want to move).

Well, the timing of the statements answers that - Suarez has reupped and seems genuinely happy in Liverpool, so it's doubtful other players in the LFC dressing room are going to be too upset by this (if they hadn't known already). Additionally, Henry probably WANTS the other teams to know Liverpool isn't playing by the rules - if you don't respect the contracts we have with our players, we will not do business with you. It's a shot across the bow before this transfer season that we will only sell when we want to, unless we have absolutely no other legal options.

Additionally, it sends a message to FIFA and UEFA from one of their owners that the system needs to be fixed. It's possible this one statement doesn't do anything, but the location he gave the quotes is fairly aggressive. The Sloan Conference is an academic conference which is attended by many of the top minds in American sports - GMs, owners, reporters, media executives, and so on. Bringing up these issues in this forum could scare off potential American investment, both in the form of media (new fans) and capital (new owners).

In summary, John Henry's statements will send a message both to competitors and the overseeing body, without having a negative impact on the morale of players or the legal situation in question. Seems like a fairly shrewd move.

And no, neither Arsenal or Suarez will be able to do anything about this.

Moto, I don't remember what type of law you work in, but is there anything in here you see out of line?
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Post by Red Alert Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:49 am

^ TLDR: Arsenal are a bunch of idiots. :coffee:
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Post by VendettaRed07 Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:05 am

Red Alert wrote:^ TLDR: Arsenal are a bunch of idiots. :coffee:
For not bidding that 40m and one pound on glen johnson? I agree.

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Post by Red Alert Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:13 am

Why bid 40m and one pound when you have clearly have the "better player" in Sagna? :coffee:

No but seriously, how do Arsenal have ANY right at all to take this to court? The only person that does is Luis, and he was told not too take it to court because he would of lost. Laughing
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Post by sportsczy Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:20 am

even if true, he shouldn't have said this publicly. Big reason that top players choose a club is that they can trust the club not to block them in case they want to leave.... and gentleman's agreement. That's what every top club offers. For example, at Madrid, Flo Perez has often said that a player is free to leave of he wants to leave. It's critical. Because of this, the only players liverpool can hope to attract are the ones where liverpool is the top option for them. That's very limiting.

Henry has very little idea how footy works. He's being too "american" here.
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Post by chinomaster182 Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:42 am

Red Alert wrote:No, Liverpool genuinely didn't want to sell Torres at the time.

I cannot for the life of me believe this, it goes against Comollis and John Henrys MO, in fact Comollis sole job at Saint Ettiene was measuring a players peak and selling when they went past it. Of course though they will forever swear to the fans they didn't want to sell.

stevieg8 wrote:The bolded section is the wording of an Arsenal twitter feed, the quotes that are being reported don't include anything about Arsenal taking Liverpool to court and I would be absolutely shocked to hear that the full answer made a reference. That's because Arsenal has almost no recourse here, they never would've been able to take Liverpool to court regardless, and I'm sure Henry knows that. As they weren't a party to the contract, the only thing they could do is sue for damages, which would be fairly difficult to quantify in a court of law. The only person that could really take action here is Luis, and he chose not to over the summer (you'll remember, following the advice of the PFA after they reviewed the contract).

Anyway, I work with contract law 70 hours a week, so I'm going to address this once and then try to move on - everybody read and pay close attention, I don't want to have to repeat myself. Two disclaimers: (a) my understanding and experience is that UK and US contract law are incredibly similar, but any minor differences which impact this post are probably beyond my knowledge, feel free to correct me where necessary; and (b) without actually being able to review the contract, we can only try to infer the details from the facts we do know, which are as follows:

1. Per Henry's quote, there was some form of 40m release clause in Suarez's contract.
2. Arsenal bid 40m+1.
3. Liverpool did not grant Arsenal the right to negotiate with Suarez.
4. The PFA, a body dedicated to ensuring that the contracts of players are fairly written and enforced, advised Suarez not to pursue legal action.
5. Suarez did not pursue legal action.

Most contracts in any field, but particularly those in football, include a form of confidentiality clause which would make it a breach of contract for the employee to disclose the terms. In event of a breach of contract, the offending party loses their legal protections and rights to recourse under the contract. If this happens and the employee attempts to enforce the contract through litigation, whether there was an initial breach by the employee would be subject to the review of a judge, so there's some wiggle room on both sides - everybody needs to estimate whether their case would be strong enough for court and weigh that chance against the cost.

The complication here is that the MO in European football is to treat contracts with somewhat less respect than typically afforded them in other spheres. Despite managers mentioning players in interviews, more leaks during transfer season than the Titanic, and agents openly referencing (and sometimes inventing) teams' interest, how often do you hear about tapping up restrictions actually being enforced? The very nature of the transfer market regularly leads teams to violate contract terms.

So Arsenal operated the way the market typically operates - they, most likely through Guardiola, learned the terms of the release clause, and bid enough to activate it. Their one mistake is that the precise nature of their bid provided clear evidence of a breach of contract on Suarez's part - someone in his camp provided a competitor with confidential terms. Arsenal's approach was just the way everyone operates.

Well there's one problem - it's been reported both that one of the major motivating factors in FSG entering the Premier League was the FFP proposals, and also that John Henry has been disappointed in the results of those measures. European football is set up in an anti-competitive system, and Henry saw FFP as a step towards changing that. To put it lightly, this hasn't happened.

So this time, when the result was going to be losing his top player before a pivotal season, Henry saw he had a legal right (due to Suarez's breach of contract) to stand his ground and took advantage of it. This decision has a number of cons - by not following the unwritten rules of the market and accepting the bid, Henry potentially hurt business relationships with both a) Arsenal and b) Suarez, who both would have been aware of Liverpool's decision and the underpinning argument months ago. What we can be certain is not a con is the risk of legal action from Suarez - it'd be tough to find a judge that would rule in his favor, and you can be sure that both FSG's and Suarez's legal teams knew that and said as much.

So now we ask why John Henry chose to disclose this information, which could spread the damage to relationships with other clubs (who now will think Liverpool aren't playing by the unspoken rules) and other players, both in our own dressing room and with other teams (who now will think Liverpool might not respect their wishes if they want to move).

Well, the timing of the statements answers that - Suarez has reupped and seems genuinely happy in Liverpool, so it's doubtful other players in the LFC dressing room are going to be too upset by this (if they hadn't known already). Additionally, Henry probably WANTS the other teams to know Liverpool isn't playing by the rules - if you don't respect the contracts we have with our players, we will not do business with you. It's a shot across the bow before this transfer season that we will only sell when we want to, unless we have absolutely no other legal options.

Additionally, it sends a message to FIFA and UEFA from one of their owners that the system needs to be fixed. It's possible this one statement doesn't do anything, but the location he gave the quotes is fairly aggressive. The Sloan Conference is an academic conference which is attended by many of the top minds in American sports - GMs, owners, reporters, media executives, and so on. Bringing up these issues in this forum could scare off potential American investment, both in the form of media (new fans) and capital (new owners).

In summary, John Henry's statements will send a message both to competitors and the overseeing body, without having a negative impact on the morale of players or the legal situation in question. Seems like a fairly shrewd move.

And no, neither Arsenal or Suarez will be able to do anything about this.

Moto, I don't remember what type of law you work in, but is there anything in here you see out of line?

Excellent post bro, did not know most players are under NDA's, however it explains alot. Are you positive thought that Suarez didn't have a case here? Guardiola clearly breached the contract, but LFP would have to prove it in court and that might get tricky no?

sprotsczy wrote:Henry has very little idea how footy works. He's being too "american" here.

Thats exactly his biggest strength though, by being an outsider he can do and try different things that have never been ingrained in him, like precisely challenging this current transfer market, selling his star players and buying better, cheaper underrated replacements. People give Henry too little credit, he took a huge baseball team that had forever been failing and quickly took them to the top again.
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Post by Nishankly Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:02 am

That doesnt mean you'll get him now Arsenal, Chill and move on Smile
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Post by iftikhar Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:08 am

Liverpool is just a career preparation for Suarez.

You sorely do miss that preparation.  Sleep 
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Post by McAgger Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:58 am

I love you Stev Proud

In all honesty that is one fantastic post. One of the best and most informative I've seen on GL.
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Post by Le Samourai Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:01 am

Eagerly awaiting the shit storm this creates with the players union when they have to tell guys all the players that insisted on release clauses in their contracts that while they were led to believe they could leave should someone meet the clause, they actually can't.

Henry played it right initially, but I agree with Sports, bragging about it will only alienate potential players and customers. Trying to American-ize football is ill advised.
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Post by Helmer Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:22 am

Looking at few posts here, it seems clear that Henry unintentionally manged to get under the skin of lot of people Laughing
Stivieg8 :bow: :bow: damn informative post hmm although it looks like the post is combination of few facts and some opinion basesd on those facts :coffee: brilliant post anyway :bow:

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Post by MJ Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:35 am

Thanks for the post stevie, I understand and had an inkling that that seemed to be what was going on. I still don't find it a very good way to build trust among players contemplating joining Liverpool, but at the same time, I felt that Arsenal's knowledge of the clause and the £1 bid was never going to go through given that it showed information had been leaked to facilitate a move.

But, still, reading his quotes, it just seems like a transparent way to stir up BS as the title race heats up.
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Post by Forza Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:47 am

BarrileteCosmico wrote:So basically he's saying "We did not hold the terms of our own contract"? :scratch:Why would he come out and say this publicly?
If this confession is real, there is nothing anyone can do any more because the contract that was breached is no longer in force. Still, it's unprofessional to reveal to the public.
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Post by iftikhar Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:32 pm

Forza wrote:
BarrileteCosmico wrote:So basically he's saying "We did not hold the terms of our own contract"? :scratch:Why would he come out and say this publicly?
If this confession is real, there is nothing anyone can do any more because the contract that was breached is no longer in force. Still, it's unprofessional to reveal to the public.

He is not the one who breached the contract. May be it's his way of saying that he has been put into undue duress.
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Post by sportsczy Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:56 pm

Forza wrote:
BarrileteCosmico wrote:So basically he's saying "We did not hold the terms of our own contract"? :scratch:Why would he come out and say this publicly?
If this confession is real, there is nothing anyone can do any more because the contract that was breached is no longer in force. Still, it's unprofessional to reveal to the public.
 Actually, that's not true.  If you breach a contract, the parties who were damaged by the breach can come after you as long as they didn't waive such right.  I'm assuming Suarez waived his rights when he signed a new contract.  However, Arsenal, the FA, the player's union, etc. never have.  If this is only a civil issue (which i assume it is), then you have a statute of limitations as to how long after the incident you can file a lawsuit...  in the US, such statute ranges anywhere from 2-10 years.  Not sure what it is in the UK.  If you have broken a law (no longer just a civil issue then), there is no statute of limitations...  waivers are meaningless and you can be taken to court 100 years later.  If this has broken UK and/or EU employment laws, then it's there for if and whenever someone wants to pick it up.

That's why i'm surprised John Henry admitted to this.  Seems very careless.
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Post by BarrileteCosmico Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:13 pm

Yeah what Sports said. If what is being reported is what he actually said Arsenal could sue for damages: "Liverpool breached their own contract with Suarez, Suarez went on to become the top scorer in the league. Arsenal finished in the top 3 within a close amount of points to first. Had Arsenal signed Suarez they would have won the league which means an additional X million dollars".
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Post by The_Badger Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:21 pm

Is anyone really that surprised that people involved with Liverpool FC are sneaky and dishonest?

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Post by sportsczy Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:28 pm

BarrileteCosmico wrote:Yeah what Sports said. If what is being reported is what he actually said Arsenal could sue for damages: "Liverpool breached their own contract with Suarez, Suarez went on to become the top scorer in the league. Arsenal finished in the top 3 within a close amount of points to first. Had Arsenal signed Suarez they would have won the league which means an additional X million dollars".
 I don't think they can argue scenarios that may or may not have happened with too many variables.  But they can argue that they lost revenue from merchandising, etc.  You can prove that easily by just showing how much money they made on such things with the Ozil signing.  I don't see Arsenal pursuing this in any case....  the bigger issue is whether the FA, Player's Union and/or EU take this on.  It's highly likely that they don't want such a precedent to stand and they would look to make an example out of Liverpool.
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Post by FilthyLuca Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:04 pm

Nishank wrote:ffs the only thing i noticed was "top soccer league".

friggin Americans rofl

whats so funny about that?

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Post by McLewis Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:18 pm

The_Badger wrote:Is anyone really that surprised that people involved with Liverpool FC are sneaky and dishonest?

Only going to tell you once.

Stop trolling and stay on topic.
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Post by BeautifulGame Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:35 pm

Tony Barrett @TonyBarretTimes
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Suarez's clause was tested by various lawyers & the PFA. John Henry has either been misquoted or not got his own wording right.

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Post by BeautifulGame Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:38 pm

Liverpool owner John W. Henry is in the headlines today following comments over the weekend regarding Luis Suarez's infamous buyout clause last summer.

Media outlets are widely reporting headlines similar to "Henry: We ignored Suarez clause"—such as RTE, Irish Independent, The Express and ESPN.

Of course, as with all media reports, it's important to look beyond the sensationalist headline, especially in this instance, given that Henry does not use the word "ignore" at any stage.



Quotes

Henry was speaking at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Saturday, and the quotes were transcribed by Liverpool supporter Dave Philips on twitter. Those quotes were than copied by media outlets without attribution—just with added sensationalist headlines in most instances.



" He [Suarez] had a buyout clause of £40m. Arsenal, one of our prime rivals – this year we’re tied for 2nd … we’re actually 2nd because of GD [goal difference].

They offered £40m+£1. What we’ve found ... is that contracts don’t seem to mean a lot in England – actually, in world football.

It doesn’t matter how long a player’s contract is, he can decide he’s leaving.

We sold a player, Fernando Torres, for £50m, that we did not want to sell, we were forced to.

Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position that we’re just not selling. "

The key part being the final word there on the stance that Liverpool and owners FSG took.



Clause

Most media have taken this as an admission from Henry that the clause existed, but that Liverpool opted to ignore it.

However, that would contradict what the Professional Footballer's Association found after they looked over the contract in the summer. "Professional Footballers' Association chief Gordon Taylor says Luis Suarez's contract does NOT require Liverpool to sell him if they receive a bid of £40m," as per The Mirror.

So clearly, the clause is still pretty unclear.

It appears that some sort of clause did exist but that it was fairly ambiguous to say the least. But that's nothing we didn't already know.

The release clause was likely implied but not explicitly detailed, so the "clause" was effectively meaningless and Henry knew it.

Bravado?

Henry's comments too may not need to be taken as literal either, especially given the context and complicated nature of the clause.

The principal owner of Liverpool was steadfast when Suarez attempted to engineer a move away in the summer; "“We are not going to sell Luis," " It is unequivocal, but that doesn’t seem to slow them [Arsenal] down so I can’t wait to see what the next bid is," "Whatever the bid is, we won’t sell him"—as per The Telegraph.

Henry showed impressive leadership and put the club's best interests first.



Lessons Learned

Clearly too, Henry feels that FSG had their fingers burnt by Fernando Torres' controversial departure just a few months after their purchase of the club.

The subsequent purchase of Andy Carroll for £35 million and huge transfer failings under then-director of football Damien Comolli were cast aside by the formation of the club's "transfer committee" and paved the way for a more frugal and economically savvy Liverpool.

Henry alluded to the steep learning curve in his comments prior to those directly about Suarez, saying "I don’t think we were really prepared for buying a team in the English Premier League"—as per Philips.

FSG made mistakes and Liverpool suffered from them, but Henry has shown and continues to show that those same mistakes will not be made again.

Liverpool are no longer a club that others can bully in the transfer market; they emanate strong leadership from the top.
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Post by mr-r34 Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:26 pm

Just for the lols

Petition to release Suarez

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/liverpool-football-club-release-luis-suarez-to-arsenal-football-club

Notable signers

Olivier Giroud LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM about 5 hours ago Liked 21
Because I am shit and need someone else to score the goals.

Yaya Sanogo LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM about 1 hour ago Liked 3
And I'm even worse than Giroud.
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Post by chad4401 Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:00 pm

so what's the point of a release clause, if the club can refuse the bid anyway? it seem obvious that suarez wanted to leave at the time or did he refuse arsenal personally? scratch
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Post by Red Alert Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:24 am

chinomaster182 wrote:
Red Alert wrote:No, Liverpool genuinely didn't want to sell Torres at the time.

I cannot for the life of me believe this, it goes against Comollis and John Henrys MO, in fact Comollis sole job at Saint Ettiene was measuring a players peak and selling when they went past it. Of course though they will forever swear to the fans they didn't want to sell.
.

Believe it son.

Luis Suarez was bought to play with Fernando Torres.

We never wanted to sell Fernando, Chelsea triggered a 50m release cause in his contract.
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