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SBD Global/March 4, 2014/Finance

Liverpool Owner John Henry Confirms Luis Suarez Had £40M Buyout Clause

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Liverpool Owner John Henry sees Luis Suarez as 'a major part' of club's plans.
EPL side Liverpool Owner John Henry has confirmed Luis Suarez did have a £40M buyout clause in his last contract, but the club "decided they would hold on to the striker at all costs," according to SKY SPORTS. Arsenal "triggered the clause" during the summer transfer window but, having lost Fernando Torres to Chelsea in Jan. '11, the Reds "were reluctant to sell." Suarez "made it clear in a series of interviews last summer that he wanted to leave Anfield," but Henry sees the player "as a major part of the club's future plans" along with Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling (SKY SPORTS, 3/3). In London, Jack de Menezes reported Henry has revealed that the club "refused to allow the Uruguayan to leave the club and are now reaping the benefits," with Suarez agreeing to a new four-and-a-half year contract to remain at Anfield. Henry confirmed his belief they were in a position to reject the approach as “apparently these contacts don’t seem to hold,” despite the view that "it was a breach of contract or as Suarez put it at the time the club had reneged on their word." Henry: “And he had a buyout clause -- I don't know what degree I should go into this -- but he had a buyout clause of £40 million -- more than $60 million. So Arsenal, one of our prime rivals this year ... they offered £40 million and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause." Henry added, "But what we've found over the years is that contracts don't seem to mean a lot in England -- actually not in England, in world football. It doesn't matter how long a player's contract is, he can decide he's leaving" (INDEPENDENT, 3/3). The BBC reported a buyout clause in a contract "typically allows a player to leave a club if a stated minimum transfer value is met." However, Liverpool insisted last summer that "there was nothing in Suarez's contract obliging them to sell the player." At the time of Arsenal's offer, Henry tweeted, "What do you think they're smoking over there at Emirates?" (BBC, 3/3).
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