I don’t want players at Chelsea who are completely happy sitting on the bench. I also think that players earn a lot more than they should, but at the same time we as a club has a hand in increased wages when we gave Terry, Lampard and co. incredibly high wages. I think there has to be a solution. Chelsea’s wages are very high, most people know that, so how can you stop that? Well to be fair, if you look at the first team and imagined they were all earning £140,000 a week then your wage bill is roughly £80M. That’s quite a lot, but apparently ours is a lot higher than that, which indicates the strength of the squad. The problem I find is that there a re a few players that have very little ambition of being a first team footballer.
*********The following example is simply that, I don’t mean to pick on this player, I am using him purely to demonstrate a point, I don’t know how he thinks or feels, and I want to stress that for all I know his blood is blue and he wants to be the very best Chelsea player there has ever been. I don’t mean this as an attack on the player. **********
I mean in all seriousness, Ross Turnbull isn’t at Chelsea to show the world he’s the best keeper, he’s there to pick up a big fat pay check and go on his way, as he will earn what most normal people earn in one year, in a single week. That to me, seems slightly silly. I mean lets be fair, if you were of that mind-set, that you could put you career on hold in order to make money, then I think you would do that for £10,000 a week, and anything more would be a huge bonus. Every player has the right to demand more, and I am fully aware that Ross Turnbull would probably play every game for a Championship club, but at a championship club he wouldn’t even earn £10,000 a week. Surely that means, offering him that would be better for him if he wanted money from his career. I suspect, though I am not completely sure that Ross will be on more money than that at Chelsea. With this being the case, surely we are overpaying him? I appreciate that he will play in say the early rounds of the FA Cup and the League cup (or whoever has purchased the rights) but in the premier league he will maybe play 5 games, if he is picked ahead of Hilario.
One way to go, would be to say to him, well when we offer you a contract extension, you will only be offered £10,000 a week, but if it may make him feel unwanted, and he might say well I will go and be the number 2 at Arsenal and earn more. What I am saying is, I am not convinced it would work.
What may work is a structured wage system, in which the first team in general would earn more than the reserves on a game by game basis. Now I understand that you pay Hazard millions more than Turnbull, and for a very good reason, but when your base wage is set so high you may lose the passion of wanting to play. Turnbull has no affiliation to Chelsea apart from that they pay his wages, he’s not like a fan who would give anything to play for Chelsea. With this in mind, I do wonder why we offer such high wages for players outside the first team. I mean you live a pretty expansive lifestyle if you earn half a million pounds a year (after tax!) which is basically £10,000 a week (which is very low in footballers wages).
Maybe the way to go would be that Turnbull signs a contract worth £40,000 a week, but he only earns that when he plays. If he is on the bench he would only take home say £25,000 a week. He has the incentive to earn an extra £15,000 but he knows he is comfortable to sit on the bench and make a decent living. This way, he knows the club value him playing at £40,000 a week (which lets him know we all value his contribution) but also that we cannot afford to pay a player that much money if he is on the bench every week. With this being the case, over a 10 year period without starting a single game Turnbull could retire with £10.3M to his name, and people will say that you cannot do anything after football, but on those wages you make more than a very high end executive would make in his life.
I know a performance based system is currently in operation but the base wage difference and the performance wage difference in not that different, so maybe this would start to cut our wage bill. I do not know as a fact but I think from Essien’s performances in the past he would be on £150,000 a week. Since Robbie took over he hasn’t played, because we all want him to get back to his best. Even if we said to him, look Mike, if you start playing again have the £150,000; but whilst you’re on the bench, you can take home £100,000 a week. The club would save £2.6M a year if that was the case, and yet I don’t think that’s unreasonable, because I doubt Essien will find many clubs willing to offer him £100,000+ a week.
I would personally apply the same to pretty much every member of the squad because it might spark Essien to perform more, or to train more in the hopes of playing. I understand a lot of people will say this would never work, but its all these small cuts that could be made that will help us comply with the FFP. If every player took a 25% cut for being on the bench then the club could literally save Millions of pounds every year.