I'm a fan, so if somebody offered me five quid a week to be a Liverpool player I'd snap their hand off and I would bloody well find a way to make it work but it's different for footballers it's their career, their job, they have dedicated their lives to football and they don't owe anybody any loyalty, or do they?
Firstly, Raheem Stirling, or his agent, is entitled to ask for anything he wants and he is entitled to negotiate for a figure higher than is first offered, it's standard negotiating technique, nobody takes the first offer. We would all do the same in our work especially if we were being headhunted by all our employers competitors, I know I would.
Stirling does not owe us any loyalty, yes he has been given his chance by the club but I am pretty sure that he would have made his way in to most teams match day squads by now, he's a good player, he would have made it without us. In fact he has propped us up over the last year so is the reverse not true, is it not Liverpool who owe him. When we bought him, I'll say that again bought him, we were not responsible for all his development we paid him very very well he chose to come to Liverpool because they offered the best financial package. Is it any surprise then that he is considering leaving because he can get a better financial package at another club.
What have we given Stirling, as a club we have pushed him to almost breaking point, we have been prepared to risk his career overplaying him, risking injury when everybody, yes everybody was aware it was a risk. Recently he has been played out of position surely taking some of the enjoy,net out of the game for him, yes I expect him to be professional and yes this shows his versatility but he would argue that proven professionalism and versatility are good reasons to pay him more others in the squad are getting far more than him and have proven to be the opposite. Have the supporters shown him much of the support and loyalty we talk about, I don't believe we have, I don't hear his name ringing around the ground, he doesn't even have a song and when he has done what we would all do in trying to negotiate a pay rise some of the support enough to be heard have turned against him, abuse that he must hear, not the best way to persuade somebody to sign on the dotted line.
Is he being greedy, let's consider £150,000 per week ridiculous amount I know but less than half of what some of the best players in the world are earning. Stirling is not in that bracket of player, but he has the potential, he is one of the best young players in the world we have all being claiming that for at least a year. Now if he was to sign for five years he would obviously be signing his next contract after this one when he was twenty five if we were to give him a similar pay rise to this ridiculous one we are talking about now that would be around £270,000 for a player at his very peak still short by a considerable way of what the worlds top players are getting now and in five years they will have probably moved on and be earning more. So realistically if he is at the level we all say he is even £150,000 puts him way behind the game so from his point of view he should be getting north of that.
Liverpool recently have had a policy of buying younger players with he ambition of turning them into the best in the world, not a bad policy and if we haven't got the money or the ability to attract the worlds best then a policy I can get behind. But, if this works and players like Sterling, Ibe, Can, Markovic, Ojo, Moreno and Coutinho are to develop we are going to have to pay top money to keep them and if we don't keep them we will remain a mid table team with no ambition starting again every few years.
So my argument is yes negotiate to the best for the club that you can but pay the players the money I want the best players at Liverpool I am already sick of loosing players to those who will pay the money, Liverpool should not be a selling club