The contract mess of Raheem Sterling continues


The Raheem Sterling  contract saga has continued its woes.

This past week, prior to Liverpool’s devastating 4-1 loss to Arsenal, Sterling had been the front and centre of yet another contract negotiation. The youngster had had a negotiation a little under six months prior to the current situation at hand, but now reportedly despite being offered £100,000 a week, the winger is instead demanding £150,000.

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There are several factors to how Sterling’s contract saga mess became much worse than it had to be and one factor stemmed from his attempt at gaining patience from fans by stating in an interview with BBC “I don’t want to be perceived as a money-grabbing player.”

The confusing situation is difficult to fathom for fans. Considering Liverpool’s loss Saturday to Arsenal and Sterlings ongoing expression towards Champions League football, it is hard to see past whether Sterling’s negotiations are a reflection of his desire to leave the club.

By being offered an ample cushion of money, it would in part secure the likes of one of the club’s most important players. But Liverpool have never been a club that rely on the glamour of their players to sell them.

Also, why should Liverpool enforce their admiration of a player who they helped grow into the player he is today with financial incentive at only 20 years old?

The history made at Anfield is what sells the club. The faithful supporters and devoted players (despite struggles along the way) are what create such a unique atmosphere within the club. Considering Sterling’s presence with the club dates back to his early teens, the winger should understand this.

Although clubs which are financially driven may have players his age making a considerable amount of money – that does not necessarily mean in the long run it should supplement the proper growth of his talent. It is difficult as a fan, to defend a player who only seems to be media bound when contract negotiations boil down to the financial figure they desire yet cant seem to solidify.

Merseyside legend, Jamie Carragher put the entire situation in perspective while commenting on the saga and Sterling’s interview with the BBC:

"“Another week, another PR disaster for Team Sterling. It is six months to the day since I expressed my dismay on this page over a story about his contract negotiations and here we are again. There has been much focus on the fact Raheem Sterling has turned down a contract worth around £100,000 per week. He reportedly wants £150,000. He is being perceived as flashy and cocky but that is not the young man I got to know. He was quiet, humble and eager to improve. … For a 20-year-old and his agent to be taking on Liverpool FC in the public domain is a disgrace. I have no issue about players maximising their earning potential but the agenda that is being driven from Sterling’s camp is beyond a joke. … Liverpool and Rodgers are what Sterling needs at this stage of his career. He should realise this. And there is one change I would recommend he makes this summer—and it is not his football club.” (Via Bleacher Report)"

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The bottom line stands – Sterling is an immense talent, but he is a work in progress. His rise to the top has been a fast climb but this does not rationalize the need for more money in order to prove that. Liverpool offers Sterling something that many clubs, who were enticed to purchase him, cannot – guaranteed starting time.

This is what has aided immensely in the England international stellar growth. His prosperity lies with Liverpool and the financial burden in football is what often only helps short term gain, not long term. There is a variety of examples of players who have moved destinations in order to seek prosperity and they lose out on their chances of personal glory.

Sterling cannot succumb to this kind of mistake.