MUCH has been made of the supposed buy-out clause in Marouane Fellaini’s contract. While these clauses are not necessarily a new thing they do seem to have become more prevalent in recent years, and usually the clause is more often than not to protect the player’s interest as much as the club’s – the intention being that the most common usage is when a player feels a club is getting a particularly good deal with him for whatever reason, and that if he does well he should be able to move on for perhaps less than his market value.
This makes his career progression smoother and also enables him to negotiate the best financial package for himself.
Demba Ba is the most recent example. Newcastle got him on the cheap because of his injury record and as a result were willing to insert a bargain price into his deal.
Presumably at the time of negotiating his new deal Fellaini and his advisors were in a strong position, being in good form and relatively low wages at that point for a top Premier League player. He was of serious value to the club as a player and in financial terms. Not wanting to lose him cheaply, the club were willing to agree to a sell-on clause which, let’s face it, is less than twice what we paid for him. Having said that whether the clause kicks in at £23m or £25m I don’t think, looking at the big picture, it would be the most disastrous thing that could happen if someone was willing to stump up the cash. We’ve proved in the past that selling young star players does not mean the end. If it comes down to a choice between selling Fellaini or Jagielka and Baines, for me he is the least irreplaceable. The only hope of course is that David Moyes would have the entirety of the balance. We have seen how good he can be in the transfer window.