A carefully constructed wage structure focused heavily on performance incentives is one of the most important aspects of the way Liverpool FC conduct business. It’s what has allowed them to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea despite not being able to match their financial resources.
It’s also the biggest reason there was so much doubt about Mohamed Salah’s future with the club. As one of the world’s best, he wanted to be paid in line with other world-class, goal-scoring superstars, but that was at odds with the aforementioned LFC wage structure.
Fortunately, the two sides finally came to terms and agreed to a new contract today. The announcement has LFC fans, players, and legends around the world buzzing, including Jamie Carragher.
“I think a lot of Liverpool fans over the last few months were almost resigned to the fact Salah might see out the last 12 months of his contract and then move on,” Carragher said on Sky Sports today. “They almost had to accept that maybe the club were not prepared to go to the numbers he wanted or felt he deserved because maybe his age and the wage structure.
“I think the fact Divock Origi and Sadio Mane have moved on means maybe they’ve been able to get closer to the numbers Salah wanted. I think everyone is just delighted that he’s signed and fingers crossed he can produce over the next three years what he’s done in the first five years and I’m sure he can.”
In the end, it was money that made the difference, with the Reds upping their offer to a rumoured £350k+ per week. While more than Liverpool wanted to pay, it won’t blow up the wage structure, and it is a substantial improvement over the previous offers. It may not totally fit in line with the wages the club prefers, but according to Carragher, Salah is the kind of player you have to bend the rules for occasionally.
“It’ll be money and there’s nothing wrong with that. Salah has been as good as anybody in the Premier League or in European football over the last five years. He’ll feel he deserves to be paid as well as those and we know the types of numbers certain players get at other clubs.
“Liverpool have never really gone to that level in terms of numbers, certainly under FSG. They have a way and a model and I think a lot of Liverpool fans respect that because it’s brought so much success.
“I don’t think there would have been too much criticism if Salah did leave, but I think every now and then when you have someone as special as him, the rules you have in place you have to certainly bend them.”