Is Manchester City’s Suarez contract is hindering the player’s development?

By Tony Attwood

The Daily Mirror is today publishing a story about Denis Suarez which makes particularly interesting reading.  I am most grateful to my pal Steve who sits next to me at Arsenal Stadium for picking up on this story and alerting me to it today.

The story attempts to get to grips with what appears to be a most extraordinary tale, and understand it we have to look first at Suarez’ career thus far.   Wiki shows it like this…

Season Team Games Goals
2010–2011 Celta B 15 0
2011–2013 Manchester City 0 0
2013–2015 Barcelona B 36 7
2014–2015 → Sevilla (loan) 31 2
2015–2016 Villarreal 33 4
2016– Barcelona 46 3

As we know, this January Barcelona loaned the player to Arsenal, having previously extended his contract until 2021.

But the Mirror tells us that, “When Barcelona signed Suarez back in 2013, a contract agreement stated in his initial deal would see City paid £715,000 for every 10 first team appearances he made per season.”

Now the Mirror picked up this information from the Spanish publication SPORT, and with the Mirror (as indeed with most national newspapers in Britain) it is worth going back to the source of the tale just in case the British paper has manipulated it in any way so it matches their own agenda.

In this case what we find is this (obviously translated from the Spanish)

“Barça have to pay 800,000 euros every 10 games he plays due to the agreement with Manchester City. Denis has played 54 times for the first team and in 31 of them a minimum of 45 minutes, a condition which is demanded in the majority of contracts of this type. Every bill which arrives from the Etihad Stadium is met with a sigh in the Camp Nou offices, but there’s nothing they can do but comply with the agreement. Denis has seen his progress blocked and the club are now saving on having to pay the English club more money.”

The interpretation of this by the Mirror is that “Due to the agreement, Suarez has not played consistent football for over five years now and this was highlighted by his pitiful 71 Barcelona appearances since 2013.

However the Mirror goes further and, for reasons that it does not explain, changes the original SPORT story which says this sort of deal is normal, to one that is quite different.  For the Mirror says, “But it’s fair to say that his unusual contract may well have hindered his development at Barcelona and has resulted in the Gunners signing a 25-year-old work-in-progress as opposed to the finished article fans were expecting.

“It’s also fair to say that Suarez isn’t what Emery – who worked closely with him as a youngster – was expecting when he made the Spaniard his no.1 target this January.”

Now the Mirror also doesn’t explain what it means by that last paragraph – that is how the article ends.  But it clearly implies that Mr Emery and his team were sloppy in sorting out the deal, not checking on how often Suarez has played, how fit he was etc and the background of the deal.  Arsenal in short were conned – and since this is a regular Daily Mirror theme – not for the first time.

This approach indeed is not at all unusual for the Mirror’s website Football.London which publishes on average ten Arsenal stories an hour throughout the day.  Arsenal cock-up is one of their main themes.

But it is interesting to see here just how they made that story up while pretending that they are simply quoting from a reliable Spanish source.  For returning to the SPORT version what we find is the notion that the clause is normal – they speak of “contracts of this type”.

However there is something else going on here as well, which the Mirror avidly avoids in order to continue its daily support of Manchester City.    For a more careful analysis reveals a rather concerning trend.

The City Group which own Manchester City also own New York City, Melbourne City, Yokohama F. Marinos, Club Atlético Torque (from Uruguay), Girona (playing in La Liga, with City owning 44.3% and Pep Guardiola’s brother owning the same amount), Girona C (previously known as Segona Catalona), and Sichuan Jiuniu (of China).

There is also much media chatter that City Group are currently in negotiation with Estoril and Boavista of Portugal (they will obviously only make a bid for one of them), and French club AS Saint-Étienne.

One of the worries that we have expressed on Untold over the years is that this worldwide ownership of clubs by a middle east power, will lead to new methods of trading, and that the power of the group will itself make occasional methods of trading within football quickly become established as the norm in football, simply because it is what City group does.

Of course as noted above the original Spanish commentary on our loanee is that the details of the deal are commonplace – it is the Mirror that suggests otherwise – and  it is certainly possible that this approach is becoming normal because it is spreading around the growing power of the City group network of eight clubs.

Certainly this approach of payment for games played (which of course has been around for a long time, and dates back to the deal that Sir Henry Norris did with the signing of Charlie Buchan in 1925 through which Buchan himself earned an additional fee for each goal he scored in his first season at Arsenal) can seriously hinder the development of loanee players.

We have regularly looked at the multiple number of players that Chelsea have on loan (38 at the last count), and the way their activities have led to a one year transfer ban being imposed on the club.  Chelsea’s problem is that they have been signing under age children, while the City Group’s actions relate to signing players that they don’t want or need anywhere within the group, and incorporating an additional cost on players for each game played is a way of controlling multiple players, and restricting their ability to play (or of making a huge amount of money if they do play).

Of course it really needs Fifa and Uefa to take action to stop this, so that all transfers are straight and simple: players need to be over 18, and there is a straightforward sale or loan fee from one club to another).  But I can’t see that happening.  Uefa are still not willing to take on Manchester City over their sponsorship deals relating to the Champions League, so I doubt they will now open up an attack on a second front.

11 Replies to “Is Manchester City’s Suarez contract is hindering the player’s development?”

  1. Well, this makes a nice change from the ‘draconian regime’ that owns the CFG and its record of human rights! other than Suarez deal which was agreed and accepted by Barcelona everything else is conjecture or hypothesis. However, without digressing too much there seems very little concerns or issues raised as to the 100’s millions accepted by you self-righteous bankers from the upstanding and progressive Rwandan regime.


  2. Tony

    Que an influx of irate City fans insisting ‘its all legal and above board’ and not only that but City aren’t actually doing this for themselves, oh no, they’re only doing it to benifit the ‘community’ because that’s all they ever want to do.

    Ah bless.

  3. Tony
    Nice catch. I don’t read the Mirror unless I’m looking for comedy journalism. Their football ‘coverage’ is a joke and their Football.London site should win a Hugo for best science fiction. You should send this article to the Mirror and see if it’s published, lol. It is an absolute classic example of how the media change, manipulate and ignore fact to serve an agenda. If this were confined to Sport coverage it might be an entertaining, yet obvious anomaly. But it permeates everything published on any subject. The more emotional readers/viewers get about a subject the easier it is to spin the facts. I’m afraid fact based reportage has been consigned to the dust bin of history. Except here. Keep fighting for truth and fact based journalism, real journalism. You have our support – the countless thousands that come here for some relief.

  4. Did I not see that Ospina has been dropped from the club he has been loaned to because if he plays more games something will be triggered?

    Is it a payment, or they have the sign him?

  5. Congratulations to Calum in play against Chel$ea. He scored (and got a yellow). Fulham still lost. Fouls were 10:10, and yet Fulham got 2 yellows to Chel$ea getting 1. There were 5 treatments in the game, 3 to Fulham players.

  6. OT- I just read an article written in The Telegraph by Sam Dean where he had quite a number of positive things to say about the performance v Spurs and Unai Emery. Shocking. I found it through Yahoo Sports because I won’t give the Telegraph one sou to get through their ‘Premium’ paywall. If anyone hasn’t seen it and wants to, here’s the link:

    Anything on any media platform that doesn’t conform to the usual tired criticisms of AFC is most welcome.

  7. If this Daily Mirror transfer and contract story publication of Arsenal loaned player – Denis Suarez from Barcelona did turnout to be true, then there is no other description to describe the aftermath of his loan move to Arsenal in the last January window other than to describe it as a sloppy, unprofessional, amateurist, unorganized and waste of club’s money and time incoming loan transfer deal signing conducted by the trio of Emery, Raul Sanllehi and the Arsenal Managing Director ever seen conducted for Arsenal in time immemorial. What have these trio hierarchy bosses done at Arsenal? It’s a loan transfer sham they’ve done for Arsenal. Even Emery has admitted that Suarez will need time to adapt in the PL and time to adapt to Arsenal way of playing. Suarez is 25 and he is supposed to be a finish article loaned from Barcelona to immediately solved a particular problematic area that came up due to injury and loss of form to Mkhitaryan in the first eleven team. Suarez was supposed to have hit the ground running playing in games for Arsenal immediately after he was signed. But what have us Gooners seen? Suarez has gotten one or two cameo appearances in the PL for Arsenal but ran up and down on the field of play not influencing anything positive for Arsenal. Let us Gooners not forget that Suarez is not an 18 year old player signed by Arsenal to say he is a work in progress at the club but a finish article who should start playing immediately for 90 minutes plus in games for Arsenal e.g. like Gonzalo Huguain loaned by Chelsea last Jan window. And just imagine the sloppiness and the mess that was committed by the trio Arsenal hierarchy bosses when they withdrew the purported 200K/week wages contract extention deal for Aaron Ramsey that was on the table for his signing thus forcing him out of the club. But Ramsey has become the better for the withdrawal.

  8. goonersince72

    As I said on a previous thread to you, it does make a pleasant change to have positive things written about us, and you have my enormous admiration for the amount of dross you must be trawling through in order to unearth these little gems.

    Unfortunately as Sir Hardly points out in his article, it seems our ex’s still cant resists snatching criticism from the jaws of praise as shown by Petite being unable to resist a dig at Mustafi.

    Sad and even sadder when you witness the endless line of ex Liverpool players sat there all in a row politely clapping their heroes, irrespective of win, loss or draw.

    Irrespective of whether they’re looking at yet another season end capitulation.

    Whether or not they’re watching yet another trophy less season.

    If only Liverpool could be as ‘weak’ as Arsenal, then perhaps they might actually win something, isn’t that right Mr Carragher?

    Compare that to how, despite actually winning something, we have to put up with the likes of Petite, Wright, Robson, Merson, Smith, Adams, etc. etc. etc. endlessly whinging and whining.

    Don’t get me wrong, I admire these Ex Liverpool players.

    So many seasons of hope. So many seasons when it’s there in the palm of their hands, only for it to be cruelly snatched away.

    If only we had ONE ex player who even for one second showed such love and loyalty.

  9. Nitram @8:54 am

    Couldn’t agree more re our former players. It’s mystifying to me that players who got so much from being in an Arsenal shirt shred it at every opportunity. I mean what’s Wrighty’s problem, for instance? Still angry Henry scored more? Don’t think he can blame the club. The one area in which former players might have a gripe is the club’s indifference to bringing them into the coaching ranks. I’m guessing it was AW but I always have trouble faulting him. If you look at the squads in the Ems era objectively, I don’t think any manager ever could have kept that lot in the top 4 all those years. He did bring back Pat Rice and Steve Bould from an earlier era. But Patrick Vieira is managing for one of City’s teams FFS.

    As for Liverpool, who cares? Doesn’t mean anything to me that Liverpool and United are the anointed clubs to the media and most fans. Liverpool hasn’t won since before the EPL, winning the First Division in 1990. Imagine how much worse the anti Arsenal bias would be if AFC hadn’t won since then. If we’re complete shite to the media, what does that make ‘Pool? Fertiliser? LFC, their ex players and fans can get stuffed until they win 3 in EPL.
    Anyhow, I always enjoy reading your posts.

  10. I think Bob Wilson was the only ex player that showed love and loyalty to Arsenal. I have never come across anything that puts down Arsenal like you read and hear in other media outlets.

  11. Goonersince72


    You are obviously and old timer like me. My first game was sat on my dads shoulders watching us lose 3-1 to Swindon Town in the mud.

    Still fell in love 😘


    Good shout 👍

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