Now the season is over and there is the inevitable need to re-shape the squad, I’ve been wondering what sort of contractual value our players hold, and whether contracts made any sense in accordance to their standing and what stage of their careers they’re at.
I’ve tried to assess their worth to the club at their absolute minimum value, which means simply calculating what I think the player might be earning as a basic salary, minus all the clauses they earn on top, and then multiplying that by the remaining length of time on their contract.
Let’s assume that we’re already at the end of the season, just to round things up, otherwise you’d add a five weeks more salary into the picture. We’ll start this process as if it was 30th June 2013, which is traditionally when contracts are signed until in this country.
Please note, I’m obviously speculating on what players earn. I don’t know the actual figures, so I’m guessing and although I’m not entirely convinced that £65K per week is the maximum paid out by the club, Tony Fernandes has stated this is the case, so that’s what I’ll go with for the players who I think are the maximum earners.
As this is guesswork, I’m sure some players will be earning more or less than some of the figures I’ve gone for, however, I still think it provides a reasonable estimation of the costs involved. I’ve tried to research what time remains on each players contracts, but of course, there may be the odd player that I might be a season out on, which would impact these figures for better or for worse.
£65K per week
- Loïc Rémy (4 years, £12.48m)
- Christopher Samba (4 years, £12.48m)
- Júlio César (3 years, £9.36m)
- Esteban Granero (3 years, £9.36m)
- Joey Barton (2 years, £6.24m)
- José Boswingwa (2 years, £6.24m)
- Shaun Wright-Phillips (1 year, £3.12m)
- Djibril Cisse (1 year, £3.12m)
- Bobby Zamora (1 year, £3.12m)
- Ji-Sung Park (1 year, £3.12m)
This would represent a combined £65.52m still owed to these players from next season.
£50K per week
- Junior Hoilett (3 years, £7.2m)
- Stéphane Mbia (1 year, £2.4m)
- Robert Green (1 years, £2.4m)
This would represent a combined £12m still owed to these players from next season.
£45K per week
- Nedum Onuoha (3 years, £6.48m)
- Anton Ferdinand (1 years, £2.16m)
This would represent a combined £8.64m still owed to these players from next season.
£40K per week
- Adel Taarabt (3 years, £5.76m)
- Andrew Johnson (1 year, £1.92m)
This would represent a combined £7.68m still owed to these players from next season.
£35K per week
- Luke Young (1 year, £1.68m)
This would represent £1.68m still owed to this player from next season.
£30K per week
- Alejandro Faurlin (1 year, £1.44m)
- Jay Bothroyd (1 year, £1.44m)
- Jermaine Jenas (1 year, £1.44m)
This would represent £4.32m still owed to these players from next season.
£25K per week
- Samba Diakité (3 years, £3.6m)
- Armand Traoré (1 year, £1.2m)
- DJ Campbell (out of contract)
- Rob Hulse (out of contract)
This would represent £4.8m still owed to these players from next season.
£20K per week
- Jamie Mackie (2 years, £1.92m)
- Shaun Derry (out of contract)
- Clint Hill (out of contract)
This would represent £1.92m still owed to these players from next season.
£15K per week
- Yun-Sook Young (3 years, £2.16m)
- Hogan Ephraim (out of contract)
This would represent £2.16m still owed to this player from next season.
£5K per week
- Tal Ben-Haim (out of contract)
- Brian Murphy (out of contract)
- Radek Cerny (out of contract)
The combined contractual worth of the squad by those calculations is £108.72m, based on 49 years worth of contracts for those players.
If you ever needed an indication of just how poor our transfer strategy was, and how much we’ve paid over the odds in terms of salaries for a club of our size, this is just a small indicator of it. Even if it was half of this value, you’d still wince, and that’s before appearance fee clauses, and so on.
There are a bunch of players with just a year remaining on their deals, which amounts to £28.56m and we’ve eight players from the above list out of contract, whom the majority you’d suspect will be let go for financial reasons.
I see very little value for money in there and the club has its work cut out to sort this mess out and there are clubs out there, like Swansea City, Norwich City, Southampton and in recent years, Wigan Athletic who have operated on budgets far lower – and in some cases paying less than a quarter of what we’ve paid our top earners as their maximum outlay.
Next season alone, as it stands, we’re looking at £52.4m to cover the salaries of those who are in contract, minus the details of any salary reductions based on relegation. I am not convinced that the top earners have those clauses, and I’m not convinced that the ones who that do have significant enough reductions in the first place either.
Whatever the case, to see us talking about such figures is remarkable and somewhat sickening when just over 12 years ago we nearly went out of existence due to taking out a £10m loan with the mysterious ABC corporation. That’s less than what we paid as a transfer fee for Chris Samba and less than what we have agreed to pay him as a salary over the length of his contract. Samba alone is likely to cost Rangers in the region of £25m if he stays here and sees out his deal.
For the past couple of seasons, the club have been in a horrendous situation of having an enormous batch of players who were unable to play because they couldn’t be registered in the 25 man squad. This was another indicator of a poor transfer strategy and lack of squad development philosophy.
This needs to be monitored carefully and resolved, because frankly, it’s obscene. How many other clubs have you seen since the introduction of the squad rules in that kind of situation, and for that length of time? The answer is, none.
My advice to QPR is simple; sell, sell and sell some more and do whatever it takes to sort this mess out and get a salary structure that is sensible, under control and offers equality.
It does not matter who – every single person in that list should be available until we’re in a position where we can apply some common sense.