Saturday 26 May 2018

Reds reward Suarez brilliance with bumper pay rise

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Chris Bascombe

Luis Suarez's exceptional season has catapulted him to the highest tier of earners at Anfield thanks to the club's policy of incentivised contracts.

The Uruguayan doubled his salary to around £80,000 a week when he signed his last deal in 2012, but significant performance-related enhancements have now taken him to around £120,000.

Suarez can now expect to become one of the club's biggest earners, recognition for the standards he has consistently met in a campaign in which he has already struck 21 Premier League goals in 27 games, and 28 goals in all competitions.

Liverpool know many Champions League clubs – especially Bayern Munich – hope to lure Suarez as he contemplates another year out of the main European competition, but rather than negotiate fresh terms to fend off those bids, the new, performance-related deals which Liverpool are favouring under Fenway Sports Group have come into effect, with Suarez one of the first to benefit.

Suarez, who is a leading contender for the Player of the Year award this season, can expect further salary hikes the longer he remains on Merseyside without necessarily having to sign another new contract in the near future. That is why Liverpool are relaxed about rivals pursuing him.

All of Liverpool's most recent contract extensions have been more incentivised than those of the past, the club eager to end a culture of waste where large-scale deals were handed out to players who spent most of their time on the bench or on loan.

There has never been any question of Suarez finding himself in that category, but his contract is perceived as symbolic of a more mutually beneficial pay structure where only quality is rewarded.

The Anfield board say they want to agree deals which "grow with the player" and Liverpool feel the structure of the South American's deal ensures they do not need to return to the negotiating table every 12 months.

Brendan Rodgers has cut a debilitating wage bill of £142m by £15m to £20m in the past 12 months, with every prospect this summer's transactions will continue that trend.

Suarez became the first Liverpool player since Fernando Torres to score 20 league goals in a season with his hat-trick at Wigan last weekend. He is one short of his 50th Liverpool goal.

And the plaudits keep coming for the Uruguayan. His team-mate, Jose Enrique, is the latest to utter the striker's name in the same breath as the greatest of his contemporaries.

"He scores so many goals in training. It's like with Messi – everyone says he is going to cut inside all the time. And you know that he is going to do this, but you can't stop him," said Enrique. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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