Footballers sometimes have no sense of realism at all.
I have no way of knowing whether the reports today about Odsonne Edouard’s wage demands are true, but nothing would surprise me.
If his agents really believe he can get £85,000 a week straight from Celtic then they aren’t playing with a full deck and he really needs to get himself better agents.
I wish I could say that the era of these crazy salaries are ending in football. UEFA’s new FFP measures are designed to tackle them, in a way, and stop this lunatic inflationary cycle. But too many players now simply assume that once they reach a certain level that these wages are the norm, and to a certain extent they are correct.
20 years ago, some of the players on monster salaries wouldn’t have been earning scandalous amounts like they currently do. A handful of uber-wealthy clubs then started paying crazy money and Sky rolled into England and all of us sudden wages exploded.
Mediocre footballers are now on life-changing money. Clubs saw where this was heading but did nothing to stop it, because they didn’t know how. But all they had to do was refuse to play ball. Most chairman would love to roll time back to a point where they could simply say “no” to the first crazy demand. What they can do instead is think of the future.
Odsonne Edouard is a decent footballer. He is not an £85,000 a week footballer, no matter how crazy the markets have gotten, no matter much wages have spiralled. It is a grotesque amount of money for anyone to be demanding at a time when a million people face losing their jobs as the government furlough scheme comes to an end.
Edouard can certainly earn that kind of money; he’s still in his early 20’s and it will come … but it will come the next time he moves, not this time, and only if he’s proven that he’s worth it.
That’s cash, anyway, that only the top teams will pay for a top player … even in the midst of these crazy days, mid-level EPL teams will not pay that kind of money unless it’s for the absolute finished article and Edouard isn’t that. Only the top tier sides, the City’s, the Arsenal’s, will pay it for what is essentially high-grade potential … Edouard doesn’t look worth it.
The calibre of clubs sniffing around him reflects that.
If he thought that he was certain to engage the interest of serious people at serious teams he should already have been dissuaded of that belief. His performances do not justify it, and moping about Celtic Park for the next year of his deal as we watch his valuation shrivel to nothing will not improve his chances of landing that salary or the kind of team which is willing to pay it.
This guy needs to wise up.
He is not yet as good as he thinks he is, and he needs to do a lot more before he will convince people otherwise.
If he really does want to earn that kind of cash in the next couple of years, he needs to be realistic about his level and his talent and take that step onto the bigger stage where he can prove he’s worth it.
And the sooner he does that the better, for all of our sakes.
But if he thinks he can drag this out so that he can go on a free at the end of it, well there are major risks to that strategy foremost of which is that it will not work.
Nobody, whether on a free contract or with a big fee attached, is moving from Scotland to that kind of money, and his representatives would be crazy to think otherwise.