Liverpool owner John W Henry has made various comments regarding the Suarez to Arsenal transfer saga of 2013 and how he took a gamble by refusing to let Suarez leave.
Suarez had a buyout clause of £40m and Arsenal met those terms by offering £40m + £1 to legally trigger the buyout clause. The Liverpool owner sees Suarez as an important player and refused to let him leave for Arsenal. He stated that he would rather take Arsenal to court than to let his star man leave.
Here’s what John Henry had to say about this:
“Luis Suarez is the top scorer in the English Premier League, which is arguably the top soccer league in the world. He 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 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 [Suarez].
“It’s been great for Luis, it’s been great for us, and what will happen at the end of the year I think we’re going to make the Champions League, we have a small chance of winning the Premier League this year.
“We have 3 gentlemen up front Suarez/Sterling/Sturridge, [they] are young, I think Luis and those three could be together for a long time.”
You have to hand it to Arsenal, though. That’s one clever way to activate a buy-out clause without paying over the odds. Bravo.