For a long time it appeared that Mohamed Salah would join the likes of Gini Wijnaldum, James Milner, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane, all players that Liverpool let run down their contract to the point where they left for free or for a minimal sale.
And then, last summer, the club announced that Salah was staying with a freshly minted 3-year contract, with a base pay reportedly around £350,000 per week. It made Salah far and away the club’s highest earner, and deservedly so.
It has long been known that Liverpool likes to offer contracts with highly-incentivized performance-based bonuses.
The speculation with Salah’s new deal is that there would be a higher base pay and probably fewer performance-based bonuses. However, it seems that Salah’s deal is still highly-incentivized. His agent estimates that base salary, bonuses, and image rights will earn Salah roughly £1 million a week.
A few details of the deal have come out from a study from the Harvard Business Review (“Salah’s in the the Harvard Business Review, your club will never sing that”), including some enlightening quotes from Salah’s agent, Rammy Abbas.
“We are still very far apart,” Abbas said during the negotiations. “Mohamed isn’t going to throw away his contract because of a 5% difference in what we are asking for and what they are willing to give – it is much more than that.
“If we find a way to get Liverpool to agree to the salary we have in mind and if Mohamed performs at a level he has achieved in the past seasons, we conservatively expect the total amount received by Mohamed and the image rights companies over the next few years from both his playing contract and his image rights contracts to be somewhere between €54m [£46.8m] and €62m [£53.7m] per year.
“Now, Mohamed’s endorsements are [each] in the €4m [£3.5m] to €7m [£6.1m] range – him joining Liverpool was a game-changer,”
Salah owning his image rights is a big part of what makes the deal so lucrative, and has allowed the player to secure endorsements from Pepsi, Adidas, and Gucci, among others.
It’s also clear from the quotes that Salah playing for Liverpool, specifically, is a huge reason why so many big brands want to shell out millions for his endorsements. After all, there aren’t many bigger clubs, with bigger global fan bases, than Liverpool Football Club.
The report also makes it clear just how difficult the last negotiations were, and presumably, how difficult the next negotiations will be. It’s clear that Salah won’t be taking a pay cut, to say the least.
However, it seems like the club and agent found a way forward that benefitted both sides, and made the math feasible. If Salah still wants to play for one of the biggest clubs, with one of the biggest fan bases, in the best competitions, and continue to be one of the game’s biggest stars, he will hopefully want to continue playing in Red on Merseyside.
For the moment, Mo shows no signs of slowing down. Salah already has 4 goals and 4 assists in 7 appearances for the club. This season he has already taken Steven Gerard’s spot in the top 5 of the club’s all time goal scorers, and accomplished something no other player has achieved in the Premier League era: became the first player to have a streak of 12 or more consecutive games with a goal contribution twice.
I’m sure there’s much more time to talk about Mo’s next contract. Looking ahead to today’s game, Mo can break yet another record: becoming the club’s top goal scorer against Tottenham Hotspur. Right now he sits level with Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish, and Roger Hunt with 8 goals a piece. Not bad company to keep.