LIVERPOOL have adopted a new approach to players’ contracts with lower basic salaries and more performance-related bonuses.
The Reds have been stung in recent years by the kind of lucrative deals handed out to flops like Joe Cole and Alberto Aquilani.
Now contracts are being structured in a different way to ensure there is a greater incentive to be a success at Anfield.
MD Ian Ayre said: “The attitude I’m trying to put forward when we’re negotiating with agents is that we want to do a contract which is fair for both sides.
“Fair often means the right amount of reward for a player who delivers. Everyone we bring through the door we expect to perform and do the best they can. As long as any player does that they should be rewarded for it.
“I’m not one of those who subscribes to the idea that players are necessarily overpaid. I think they make a huge contribution to the biggest league in the world.
“From the football club’s perspective, our view has to be that people are rewarded for contributing towards what we achieve. As long as contracts are structured in that way then everyone wins.
“If a player performs then he will be rewarded. That’s the philosophy of the contracts we are offering and signing.”
Ayre admits there is “a bit of a legacy” when it comes to negotiating deals now with clubs and agents knowing what kind of inflated figures Liverpool have previously been willing to pay.
“It’s a bit of a legacy we have to deal with as agents always seem to know what every player is earning and what every contract structure is,” he added.
“But it’s not something that’s causing us too many problems. It doesn’t matter what has gone before, it’s about what’s happening now.
“We have good relationships with the agents we are dealing with. I’ve found in the main most agents are prepared to listen and find the best solution for both sides.
“Like any negotiation, if you give someone the opportunity to have it all their own way then they will. That’s not going to be the case here. We are being open, honest and fair in making it clear that the real reward comes from performance.”