27 Aug 2009

REVEALED: The Daily Mail’s (probable) lies over Glen Johnson’s alleged £139,000 salary

That bastion of football journalism, ‘The Daily Mail’, recently published a story claiming that new signing Glen Johnson was earning £139,000 a week. In what was a clear attempt to whip up anti-Liverpool sentiment, the article's author, Charles Sale alleged that the club agreed to pay that ridiculous amount to ‘beat off competition from Chelsea’. After some (rudimentary) investigation, it is clear to me that there is absolutely no foundation to this 'story'.

In the article, Mr Sale revealed his rock-solid source:

‘It has emerged that Liverpool are paying Glen Johnson a staggering £139,000 a week’

It has ‘emerged’? Is that what passes as a source these days at the Daily Mail? There is no evidence anywhere in the public domain that Johnson earns such a huge amount of money, so from where exactly did this ‘news’ emerge?

It definitely did not come from official sources within the club. I contacted the press office earlier today and asked them about Johnson’s salary, and whether the Daily Mail’s figures were accurate. I received the following response:


Sent: 27 August 2009 15:52:16
To: Jaimie Kanwar (editor@liverpool-kop.com)


Thank you for your recent email which has been passed to me for reply.

Liverpool Football Club will not be making any comment on this story but for your information we would not disclose any contractual agreements to third parties.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Astall
Assistant Press Officer


Let's just imagine for a second that the story IS true; who leaked the info to Mr Sale? Here are the options:

1. Someone connected with Johnson (Agent/Accountant etc).
2. Johnson himself.
3. One of Liverpool’s players.
4. The Secretary/PA who typed up all the contractual documents.
5. The lawyers who drew up the contracts.

Or, is it more likely that:

6. Mr Sale embellished the true figure.

On the balance of probabilities, what is the most likely answer here? What possible incentive would anyone in the list above have to leak the information? Furthermore, why would they go to Mr Sale and no one else with this news?

The idea that Johnson is on £139,000 a week is utterly cretinous anyway. A year ago, FutebolFinance – the recognised authority on player salaries – released a document detailing the weekly salaries of football’s highest profile players. This was picked up by The Telegraph, who used it as a basis for a story. In that document, it was revealed that:

1. Fernando Torres was on £126,500 per week
2. Steven Gerrard was on £122,400 per week

If these figures are correct, then Mr. Sale’s contention that Johnson is on £139,000 is clearly absurd, especially given the fact that the top earner, Kaka, was (apparently) on £143,000 at the time the list was made available!

With respect to the Johnson, he is not in the same quality league as Gerrard and Torres, so why would Liverpool pay him MORE than its most important two players?!

Johnson also apparently earns more than Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Ballack, Terry and Lampard!*

There is clearly no veracity to Mr. Sale’s story. Indeed, no other reputable news service picked up the story, most probably because it was obviously ill-conceived nonsense.

If, however, the story IS true (!) I challenge Mr. Sale to reveal his source, or at the very least, the nature of his source.

* I know the figures may have changed in the last year, but you get my point.


  1. I am sick and tired of the London based media fawning over Spurs, Arsenal and Chelski and deeming Utd untouchable.  Liverpool are easy targets for journalists it seems and as we know with Rob Beasley of NOTW, some do like to whip up anti-Liverpool feeling to try to destablise the club.

    Good article.

  2. The name of the aothor says it all really....Mr. Sale
    Great article.

  3. The Daily Mail is an absolute rag, with a major anti-Liverpool bias. Almost every article they publish about the club is negative. They must have run roughly 50 stories about Xabi Alonso leaving over a period of a year. They got their wish in the end. I used to comment on their rubbish but they don't print any negative feedback about their articles. Tossers!

  4. Your article is as much speculation as the Mail one. You have NO evidence he is not. You just have the opinion. He could well be on that much, albeit unlikely.

    Why don't you email the report's author?!

    I'm afraid I take your piece less seriously as the Mail's. At least the Mail hints at a source, whilst your source is your own thoughts!

    That said, I'd be surprised too if he was on that much.

  5. So what have your "revealed" then? Nothing.
    Thanks for wasting my time.

  6. The title is supposed to mirror the title of The Daily Mail's article, which was: REVEALED: Liverpool handed Glen Johnson 139,000 a week deal to beat off competition from Chelsea.

  7. Of course this is based on my own thoughts! - this is an opinion-based site, not a national newspaper with a duty to be accurate.  And I don't write stuff for people to 'take me seriously' - I'm not in it for validation.  I'm just a fan with an opinion, and in my opinion, Sale's story is inaccurate.

  8. All of that is rubbish - the Mail and that list from the French paper.  Not one Arsenal player in that list and they spend more money on wages than Liverpool - that is fact as the total wage bill is published at the club's AGM.  Also, Raul on less than Cassilas??!!  Messi not on the list earning less than Darren Bent!!  What is the point.  I reckon Johnson is on about £80k a week.  The Daily Mail is the second worst rag in circulation.

  9. While the figure looks stupid, none of the following things have been mentioned or factored.

    This figure probably includes:
    Weekly Salary
    Appearance Fee
    Assist Fee
    Bonuses for winning Trophies / gaining a certain league placing
    The fact that the new 50p tax rate comes in in March.

    I doubt that Liverpool would be paying him more than Gerrard or Torres, but you never know. I think that there was a desperation to sign a decent fullback.

  10. Correct me if I'm wrong here fellas, but I remember reading (not so long ago) that the editor of the Daily Mail (or Cheap Bog Roll as I like to call it), is in fact a huge Chelsea fan. So puttinjg 2 & 2 together, I'm guessing when the Chavs need to put out a few negative stories about us (to benefit them in some way), they call in a few favours from him. Hence why so many anti Liverpool stories or bollock tranfers rumours come out of the 'Cheap Bog Roll'. If you want to see evidence of this, just keep an eye on their headlines when we're about to play Chelsea, ESPECIALLY, if it's a meaningful do or die match like a champions league semi final tie or critical league fixture, etc.

  11. I think in time this idiot from the mail will be proved to be giving false information.

    And agree with Harry - there was a story in the NOTW last year - the day we played chelski, about Rafa having another row with the owners (he didn't - Rob Beasley took quotes and made a story up trying to stir up trouble on match day - Rafa was going to sue him, not sure if he did).

    One thing is for sure - we ALL need to question the media more -even the pundits on SSN (Merson and the like) are all anti- Liverpool. 

  12. This has always been the case. The London tabloids are always stirring up trouble with unfound rumours, stories, all to unsettle the Club. It's all a physcological warfare, they've been causing trouble for years. At the end of the day it's a complament, they hating seeing anything to do with Liverpool do well. Thats why it's all they sweeter when we stick it to them..

  13. Spot on Mikey. And you do know who Rob Beasley is a fanatical fan of, right? Yep, yet another servant of Chav I'm afraid. As for Merse, Tissier, etc on SSN. I just don't believe they are as knowledgable as they think they are. Sorry but I will NEVER buy into the fact that just cos someone plays the game, it gives them a more divine knowledge than someone who say, studies the game 24/7. Besides, more than anything, I think they behave the way they do on SSN to windup our beloved Phil Thompson.

  14. Completely agree Harry - I hate the idea that just because someone has played the game they must instantly have some kind of profound insight.  It's just football, not rocket science.

  15. Actually, there is more 'evidence' in this article than in the original. At least this one bothered to actually ask the club.

  16. He has "Revealed" that the Daily Mail report is rubbish. Think about it...johnson is hardly going to be on morer money than Gerrard and Torres

  17. Jamie, how can you doubt such an outstanding piece like this from a right Charlie like Sale? Don't you know that all these boys in the mainstream tabs have their collective finger on the pulse of all things LFC.

    Just look at how that old sage, Chris Bascombe, got this one spot-on. I mean, you'd wonder if the guy has a secret 'Being Rafa Benitez' port-hole that he peers into - when staring out the window fails to inspire. See how he gets the smaller details of the destinies of Gareth Barry and Xabi Alonso dead-on.

    And it doesn't end with him. Oliver Kay has obviously taught Mystic Meg everyting she knows; with predictions like this, I know who's shoulder I'll look over in the Lotto queue.

    Look, try not to make it so obvious that your hanging on the coat-tails of the nation's finest scribes - it's unbecoming. O:-)

  18. It's ridiculous, sure, but whatever we're paying Johnson, based on the last few games, he deserves every penny. Hope he'll continue to earn his wages at Anfield, unlike some... (yes, I'm looking at you, Lucas)

  19. He has revealed the inadequacy of highly paid journalists who are paid to build relationships and write credible articles from reliable sources. The point here is not what Glen Johnson earns.

    That said, given the brainless nature of Mr. 'Sale's' audience, nobody could deny that he is writing stories that will appeal to those stupid enough to read that rag. Hence, he is doing his job. His employer presupposes a lack of intelligence within its target audience and the article was not written for the likes of well informed individuals with the ability to question. I think the writer should Use their good brain for a good cause!!