Why Ian Wright is wrong and Shaun may miss out on ‘contract for life’

In trying to turn up the heat on City in the contract talks for Shaun Wright-Phillips, Ian Wright might have inadvertently revealed a change in policy by the club’s paymasters.

Up to now City have been prepared to pay above the going rate to attract players who might be expected to play for teams competing in the Champions League. Players like Tevez and Adebayor wouldn’t otherwise be with us, and it’s naive to pretend otherwise.

In the meantime, players already at the club who are considered part of the future, have been given improved contracts. Examples are Stephen Ireland when he was playing well last year, and Vincent Kompany earlier this season.

However, if City land a Champions League place then transfer targets and contract offers are bound to be affected. It’s no secret that Sheikh Mansour has sought to make marquee signings and he may finally get his wish if the carrot of Champions League football is on offer alongside a generous contract.

City have long been linked with Ribery, and while he may prefer sunnier Spain, the likes of the highly rated Angel di Maria and David Silva could end up on our flanks. Popular as Shaun is, he could easily find himself a squad player rather than a member of our first-choice eleven. He’s already got a battle on his hands convincing Mancini he’s better than Adam Johnson.

With Champions League football on offer, City would no longer need to pay such significantly higher wages to attract the top talent. The negotiating hand of Cook and Marwood would be strengthened when dealing with players representatives.

Added to this is the knowledge that between 2012 and 2015 Uefa will be bringing in new rules to reign in excessive spending on wages. Having squad players on hugely excessive wages could then be problematic and limit the ability to sign fresh talent.

If City fail to make the Champions League this season, then Shaun and co will have failed in the primary mission, and a substantial pay rise would be unwarranted.

Garry Cook has never disguised the fact he looks at the bigger picture, and in doing so it doesn’t make a great deal of sense to give Wright-Phillips a contract hugely better than he would get elsewhere.

Ian Wright may have felt £70k a week for the next three years is an insult to Shaun, but it’s difficult to think of another club willing to pay more. Especially when you bear in mind the last contract Spurs gave Aaron Lennon reportedly took him closer to their top earner Jermaine Defoe (£65k per week). Is Shaun really having a better season than those two? And then there’s Fabregas on less than £70k per week.

Just because City payed over the odds to secure the likes of Bridge and Toure in the past, doesn’t mean they’ll continue to do so. It may currently make for huge disparities in the dressing room, but if Johnson keeps Shaun on the bench and Ian Wright can’t come up with another club to match the City offer, then Shaun’s advisers are likely to have a tough task convincing City to up their offer.

It’s doubtful that Wright going public with outspoken comments will have gone down well in Abu Dhabi. Cook and Marwood are sure to have had the full backing of Khaldoon al Mubarak and Sheikh Mansour in whatever offer was made.

If Marwood is bringing a more hard-headed approach to contract talks, then that’s a sign of the greater professionalism which the owners have always said they would introduce. “Every deal will be judged on it’s own merits” has always been their message, and Shaun’s advisers may need to recognise that the time of excessive spending on less than the world’s best may be passing.

Incidentally, a lot of people are saying Shaun was unlucky in signing for City just prior to the arrival of Sheikh Mansour and his millions. There’s two points to make in reply to this.

Firstly, Thaksin’s regime were hardly paying peanuts in the contracts to new signings, and it’s reasonable to assume the £60k a week was better than that on offer from Shaun’s other suiters, such as Randy Lerner backed Aston Villa.

Secondly, there’s no guarantee that Shaun would have reamained on the list of transfer targets had Sheikh Mansour arrived earlier. A smaller contract at Villa or Everton might then have been the best available to Shaun and his advisors.

One final point, for someone who works in the media, Ian Wright showed a startling lack of awareness of the general mood. With the recession still biting and numerous football clubs going into administration, the practice of over-paying footballers has never been less popular.

If he wants parity with Tevez, Shaun should try firing us to a Champions League place, then establish himself in England’s starting 11 and score the winning goal in the World Cup final. Then would be a good time to start talking about a new contract!

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  1. Ian Wrights only qualification for working in the media is his record as a footballer. There is nothing wrong with being opionated but Ian Wright and reality are not even nodding distant cousins.

    I think that wheras before people would have been at least mildly sympathetic to SWP wanting to improve his contract, now they are questioning his worth to the team let alone an improved offer from the Club.

    I am ever more convinced it was rent a gob Wright who got Shaun to change his mind and to join Chelsea in the first place. That exercise in bench warming ruined a fantastic player. Lets hope he doesn’t succeed in finishing off his sons career.

  2. I believe that SWP was signed with ADUG’s consent, a couple of weeks before the takeover was revealed.

    His dad is a complete idiot, I agree that he has shot himself in the foot here.

    you are right to say that previous signings should not determine shaun’s salary, as he has over two years to run, he is only worth what someone (else) is willing to pay him.

    I suppose you might go to your boss if you felt others doing the same job were being paid more, but it doesn’t really work like that, there is a value attached to the work we do. if our employers can get better value from elsewhere, then….we have to demonstrate exactly what we bring to our roles that A N other doesn’t, otherwise, we should beware.

    Johnson is already a more unpredictable, creative player. and he isn’t on 70k a week.

    as his form has been mediocre for the best part of a year, shaun is just not in a position to demand more money (with any conviction, at least)

    Sadly I just don’t rate Shaun that highly any more. He has the pace, and the shot, but he just has too many games where his poor delivery costs the team. he’s very one dimensional. His handling of this has alienated some fans.

    In particular I have to think his praise for Mourinho, in another interview last week, was not in the least accidental, but was designed to increase the pressure on Mancini. So you’d be fogiven for thinking that, in fact, he has got wind that Mancini doesn’t rate him and will try to replace him in the summer.

    On the other hand, his performance against Chelsea, and for England, might suggest this is someone who realises they are under pressure on both fronts (club and country), and is raising their game. That would be the SWP I want at this club. Long may it continue, and please, God, let’s see the same from Stevie Ireland.

    Go on Shaun. Keep your mouth shut, and show us why we need you.

  3. Couldn’t agree more with City Slicker. It appears to be the case that ill advised opinions from Ian Wright were what prompted SWP to leave for Chelsea to sit on the bench – even though City were the team that made him a great player. Let’s be honest the example of SWP at Chelsea is now used in conversation as the warning to any good young players why not to go to a club like Chelsea. (that ginger lad from Reading and Sturridge are another two examples) Years later we take Shaun back as let’s be honest – damaged goods! He came back half the player he was and lacking in confidence. I really like SWP and was so happy to see him come back to City and am so happy he’s back in our squad but I too think that the over opinionated muppet (Ian) should shut his face before he completely ruins his sons career.

  4. Total Manchester city
    7 March 2010 - 9:16 am

    £70k a week swp has said it not over the money but Ian has made it clear in the two widely reported media outbursts that it really is fact is Shawn wants to be up there with Robinho and the likes Shawn is a really nice fella and and a fans fave I think he is a great footballer but when were in times were some people have to make do with £70 a week £70k a week to do something you love is f**king crazy even if you are Messi and really something special and a one off it’s stupid I’m sorry Shawn it’s not just aimed at you it all these over payed superstar people are losing their jobs, homes,cars and yes football can take our minds off it for 90 min or so but looking around the car park at eastlands it’s getting out of hand nothing wrong with having it but just maybe remind Daddy Ian Wright of the people and kids in the stands going blue with the cold to see their heros before telling us that all about getting mugged off for £70,000 a week yes that’s a week not a month or even a year a week instead of £90,000 Ian should think before he talks or maybe he has a short memory and thinks we all have fabulous weath and really has forgot what it’s like to be piss poor long and short of it Ian Wright you make me sick with your public outcrys over this and the the common man really can do without it.

  5. Martin Grayfield
    7 March 2010 - 10:52 am

    I agree with the article and the comments. I well remember Mr Wright snr telling us that City were too small and not sorting his son out in the right(sic) way. Now he is doing it again.
    I know the poor lamb was only on £100 k + at Chelsea, plus he got a percentage of the £25m signing on fee.
    I think we have to watch what is going on with the wages because of the CL thing and the reality of life.
    Having said that about wages and the Uefa rules to come i see they have already been watered down and i don’t see how they will affect City or any of the big players anyway.
    The reason i say that is if you think about the scenario when the club are doing the books and it transpires we are in a loss making scenario and therefore to be excluded from the CL. Books themselves and the contracts behind them are private affairs. We are £50m down on the season. Our owner rings the owner of Ethiad who i think happens to be his close relative and says oh lets alter the contract and you pay an extra £50m on the deal and low and behold we have broken even.
    Uefa cannot go behind that. Contracts are private and we are in the CL. I am not sure the Glazers have such good friends or relatives !!

  6. Story morninglories,

    What is the world coming to when a man turns around and says getting paid 70 grand a week to play football is “insulting”. Another example of footballers operating in another dimension to all us normal folk.

    Ian Wright needs a slap and Shaun needs new advice, for what its worth.

    See you in the race for skytopfour in da sunshinnneeeeee)

  7. sorry shawn mate?your a real fave with the fans but truth be known we brought you up,took you back from doom n gloom on the bench at chelsea,70k is a mitey fine wage pal,in my field im some what of an expert chef and im lucky to get 28k a year mate for a 60 hour week,so do your talking on the pitch get regular first team football show me and fabio whos the man get us in to the champions league have a bang off world cup,tell the old man and maybe you wont end up at burnley on 20k a year mate?sound advice that are kid from one of your biggest fans?

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