Sunday 25 February 2018

Ex-Celtic striker lashes out at 'ridiculous' goal bonuses paid to Zlatan Ibrahimovic by Man United

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a big impression at Manchester United, but his lavish contract is setting tongues wagging
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made a big impression at Manchester United, but his lavish contract is setting tongues wagging
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has described Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s remarkable goal bonus scheme at Manchester United as ‘utterly ridiculous’, after a report claimed the Swedish striker collected £2.86m for his 28 goals this season.

Ibrahimovic secured a huge personal windfall when he secured a free transfer to United last summer, with a massive signing on free and a huge weekly wage packet revealed in a new book called Football Leaks: The Dirty Business of Football.

Claims that Ibrahimovic was earning £367,600-a-week at United were startling enough, yet the suggestion that he was granted a sliding scale of bonuses for each goal scored has added to the intrigue surrounding one of the most lavish contracts in football history.

The Swedish marksman looks to have played his last game for United after he damaged knee ligaments in a Europa League tie last month, but he leaves the Old Trafford club after collecting around £19m, with his incredible goal bonus scheme adding to his cash mountain.

Ibrahimovic was reported to have earned £47,000 for each of his first give goals for United and £79,000 for the next five goals he fired this season.

Goals 11-15 were worth £111,000 to Ibrahimovic, with goals 16-20 this season securing £143,000 per strike He also pocketed £119,000 for each goal he scored after his 20th, with the 28 he managed securing a windfall close to £3m.

“I think it is utterly ridiculous that Manchester United are prepared to pay so much money to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for doing the job he is already paid to do,” Sutton wrote in his Daily Mail column.

“What a player he is. He deserves the big wages, but the bonus system can’t be a good idea.

“I had them in my career as a striker. Not at Celtic, nor Blackburn. If I had one at Chelsea I can’t remember it and it wouldn’t have earned me very much anyway! Norwich gave me a goal bonus in the early Nineties.

“It was £500 a goal, but only if we won or drew. I can remember scoring twice in a 5-4 loss at home to Southampton in 1994 but I didn’t get an extra penny.

“Did it cross my mind when I was through one-on-one with the goalkeeper and I could pass to a team-mate, rather than shoot? I’d be a liar if I said no. And that can’t be good. The fact that I can still remember it now should tell you something.

“It’s why a goal bonus can’t be healthy.”

While Ibrahimovic’s contract seems more than a little extravagant, there are no suggestions that any laws were broken by United handing the striker such huge personal incentives in a deal brokered by his agent Mino Raiola.

However, FIFA have confirmed that they are investigating the world record transfer of Paul Pogba to United last summer, with the details over the area of concern surrounding a deal also brokered Raiola yet to be confirmed.

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