PFA are trying to sort out that £40m trigger-clause business – but warn transfer window could slam shut on everyone’s fingers
Professional Footballers’ Association chief Gordon Taylor says that formal escalation of the dispute over Luis Suarez’s Liverpool contract would kill the player’s move to Arsenal – in this transfer window at least.
Taylor has been called in by Suarez to try and seek a resolution between the player and the club over the exact meaning of the ‘£40million trigger’ clause in the Uruguayan’s contract – specifically whether it cues a sale… or merely negotiations.
And the PFA chief was clear that he sees no easy answer to that – and no swift resolution if the rift between club and player ends up being put before the Premier League for a ruling.
Taylor said on talkSPORT: “There are different ways it can be interpreted. If it goes to the Premier League it will take time, and the window is then closed.”
Taylor had earlier been critical of the use of ‘buy-out clauses’ in player contracts.
He said: “It is a delicate situation and we are trying to help.
“These buy-out clauses have caused no end of problems in the past and they continue to do so because of the way they were drafted at the time.
“He [Suarez] believes the £40million amount that is mentioned, if that is offered that gives him the right to go.
“Liverpool, from their side, are saying that is a minimum figure from which they will consider negotiation and of course they will want to keep the player, unless they replace the player with someone as good or better, which is not going to be easy in a short period of time.
“We have been asked to try and help to sort the situation out and we have been trying to do that.”
Taylor later told the Press Association the contract does not oblige Liverpool to sell Suarez:
“If you are going to have a supposed buy-out clause it should be that, but it is different as it says if there is no qualification for the Champions League and if there is a minimum offer of £40million then the parties will get around the table to discuss things but it does not say the club has to sell.
“It quite clearly states £40million is a minimum offer for discussions, but it becomes really difficult with such clauses.
“There is a ‘good faith’ clause in relation to serious discussions but I can’t say it is cast-iron buy-out clause.
“Luis is one of our members and we want to be supportive, however, he may well have thought such an offer would trigger a move.
“The interpretation is not that simple by any means and there is no guarantee of getting a (successful) result if it is referred to the Premier League.
“I just feel like in any other transfer it is better for both parties to get around the table to try to resolve it.
“You are hoping the club say ‘If you are determined to go this is the figure we are looking at but if you are prepared to stay another year and you still want to go we will accept this much’.
“At the moment it is certainly festering and I don’t think it is a good situation for the player or the clubs involved.
“It is not edifying and that is why I feel we had to do our best to get round the table and see if there are grounds for consideration for the move but it (the clause) is not specific and 100% certain.
“We are in touch with both parties to try to see if some resolution can be achieved that is satisfactory to both sides.”