A new system of player payment may be headed for the Premier League.
There are signs that the Premier League's "la-la land wage economics -- a fat salary guaranteed, regardless of performance, with a little cream on top -- may soon subtly shift," according to Sean Ingle of the London GUARDIAN. In January, Liverpool Managing Dir Ian Ayre revealed the club's plans "for lower basic salaries with higher incentives." Now Prozone Business Development Dir Blake Wooster said that "at least two teams in the top five want to introduce performance-related pay based on advanced in-game metrics." Wooster said, "The new wave of financial regulation means teams are adopting more intelligent ways of assessing performance and remunerating players." As things stand, performance-related pay "can be as crude as suggestions from the terraces." Rewards "don't always match deeds." Even team-based incentives -- finishing in a certain league position, say -- "can be flawed." As Wooster pointed out, "there are difficulties too." He said, "Some of the most important things in football are the hardest to measure." These are problems with which Valter Di Salvo, the director of football performance & science of the Qatar Football Association and its Aspire academy, "has been wrestling." Di Salvo "is involved in developing players and implementing performance-related pay in the Qatar Star League" -- based partly on player metrics. In total "there are seven different categories of bonus, ensuring that the salaries for Qatari players correlate to their performances." Could "such a system work in Europe?" Di Salvo insists that "it could" (GUARDIAN, 5/12