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Man United, Arsenal, Spurs: The race for the worst contract in the Premier League

The Premier League is full of money. And full of terrible contracts. *cough Wayne Rooney cough cough*

by Paddy Power | August 22, 2015

The Premier League is a money machine. Sheikh’s from Dubai, American consortium’s and mad Russian billionaires. Having amassed fortunes, you’d think that these men would know how to protect their money and spend wisely afters years of climbing up the slippery corporate gravy train. But no apparently. In the Premier League they will just throw money at whoever walks in the door.

At every single Premier League club they have players who either don’t play or aren’t worth the money they’re on. There are countless examples over the years. Players like Winston Bogarde (£40k a week at Chelsea for four years in which he played 11 games) show just how mind-numbingly stupid club owners and managers can be when it comes to agreeing contracts. Newcastle are among the prime offenders over the years as the sight of fans’ angry and wobbly beer bellies has often panicked various owners into splashing the cash on seemingly big-name, but ill-advised signings – not looking at any injury-ravaged, career downturning £133,000 a week earning Michael Owens in particular. Here are five of the biggest contract millstones hanging around some Premier League club necks.

Juan Cuadrado – £85,000 p/w on a four year contract

One of the most sought after players in the world after the 2014 World Cup Cuadrado settled on Chelsea during the January transfer window at the beginning of the year. Here we are eight months later and Chelsea are looking to offload him after signing Pedro from Barcelona. After playing approximately 16 minutes during the course of his Chelsea career he has earned £2.72 million.

Not too shabby for a guy who has his own ass groove in the Chelsea dugout. Cuadrado was always going to be a squad player at Chelsea, but paying Florentina £26 million for his services was absurd and paying the man himself £85,000 a week? It was Chelsea’s worst decision since this horror-show.


Emmanuel Adebayor – £100,000 p/w on a three year contract

Is there a stranger footballer in all of England? You’d be very hard pressed to find someone. Like the tides, the changing of the seasons and the phases of the moon, Adebayor’s finest patches of goalscoring form seemed to coincide with the weeks before his contract was up for renewal. A burst of goals was often enough to ignore the previous six months of lazy, ineffective performances and make giving him £100k a week seem perfectly sensible. £100,000 a week. Yes, you read that right. Emmanuel Adebayor is making £100,000 a week after eight games and two goals last season. That’s £450,000 per game and £1.8 million per goal.

That’s not over paying for a player, or using him as a squad player that is plain stupidity. Not like Daniel Levy has made any other mistakes though. Oh wait…

Wayne Rooney – £300,000 p/w on a five year contract

‘I can’t scrape together €3.45 to get a damn chicken sandwich for lunch, but this fat marshmallow makes £300,000 a week???’ might be a thought that crosses your mind reading this one. Scientific theory now suggests there an infinite number of potential universes, which contain an infinite number of possibilities. In which one of those is Shrek junior worth that amount of money? He has scored one away goal in the last eighteen months. ONE!!!!!! He was shite last year, he has been shite so far this year and the smart money says he’ll be shite next year as well.

United are in a difficult position with Rooney – despite the large price-tag paid to Everton many years ago, he has been excellent performer and at his peak, this sort of money would have been understandable. The trouble is, each time contract renewal time comes around, the wages get nudged up in the hope he can magically rediscover his best form in the future. And it doesn’t. He has done in patches, but with his 30th birthday looming, he’s on Messi and Ronaldo money and providing a Steve Sidwell strike-rate. With a few more years to run on this juicy contract, seeing United get value for money is harder than explaining how Johnny Depp still gets work.

Mesut Ozil – £180,000 p/w on a five year contract


No one is questioning Ozil’s talent , but £180,000 a week for a player who went missing for large parts of the last two seasons since he signed for £42 million? Really? I thought Wenger was good with money. Next thing you’ll be telling me if the secretly knows how to zip up his coat at the first attempt.

This case is slightly different to the three above. It’s more paying a player too much. Ozil will play every game for Arsenal when he’s fit, but he doesn’t deliver in the big games and gets bullied against the smaller teams. He is the definition of over paying for a player. I’ll put it this way. He makes £18 a minute – not a minute of a 90 minute game, £18 of EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY OF EVERY WEEK!! Case closed.

Yaya Toure – £240,000 p/w on a three year contract


Toure has started the season brilliantly and all of a sudden the knee-jerk reactions are declaring he’s back to his best and ready to boss City back to the title. That may turn out to be the case, but we’re a little more cynical and narky in Power Tower. City are currently paying £240,000 a week for a talented but temperamental player who turns 33 years of age before the end of this season. 35 by the end of the contract? It beggars belief that a club that was nailed by the Financial Fair Play rules that apparently stopped them from signing Angel Di Maria when United did would pay Toure so much money.

He had a good season two years ago, but by the time his contract is up he’ll have made £37.4 million and last season he was as useful as having herpes in a brothel. Also let’s not forget about that time he threw the world’s biggest hissy fit over a birthday cake. For the love of God you’re making £240,000 a week go buy a damn cake factory.


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