30 Apr 2015

Season-killer: Forget Sturridge - 'outstanding' Liverpool star has a much bigger problem to deal with

What a nightmare. After almost ten months out injured, 'outstanding' Liverpool full-back Jon Flanagan has suffered yet another injury setback, and it now looks like he is set for another extended spell on the sidelines.

According to multiple reports today:

* Flanagan had another knee operation on Tuesday, and will be on crutches for the next 8 weeks.

* Scans of his knee highlighted a problem, and the club took the precautionary measure of fixing the problem.

* This is Flanagan's third operation since sustaining the injury to his knee.

* He is expected to be out of action for up to nine months.

This is a crushing blow for Flanagan, and after working his way back to brink of first-team selection, it's going to be a real mental battle for him to climb that mountain again.

Obviously, all LFC fans will wish Flanagan the best of luck, but there is one thing that doesn't quite sit right with me: his contract situation. Why is it dragging on so long? Timeline:

* Mar 2014: Rodgers told reporters: "John will be given a new contract, no question. Come the summer he's got another year so he will definitely be given a new deal".

* Aug 2014: Flanagan said: "There have been some talks and I should be signing a new contract soon. It would be reward for all the hard work I’ve put in"

* Jan 2015: The Liverpool Echo reported: "Talks over a new deal [for Flanagan] have dragged on and are yet to reach a successful conclusion".

* Mar 2015: Rodgers reiterated: “Hopefully Flanno’s contract will be sorted out. He is a big part of the future here. He did remarkably well last year and showed he is player who can play for many years at this level"

Reading between the lines, there can be only one reason (IMO) for Flanagan stalling on a new contract: money. Indeed, in March, he claimed:

“All I’ve ever wanted is to play for Liverpool and I want to stay here for as long as I possibly can.”

If that's the case, Flanagan should stop stalling and sign the contract on offer. He has no real bargaining position, and it's breathtaking ungrateful of Flanagan to haggle over a contract when he's spent 10+ months out injured (with nine more to come)

It's disappointing that a player with a long-term injury seemingly has the gall to haggle over (what is sure to be) a lucrative contract.

Given his injury problems, Flanagan should be grateful that he has a job that's willing to pay him thousands a week to sit on the sidelines for months on end. In March, he claimed:

If I had my way, Players would have clauses in their contract that stipulate payment reductions for long-term injuries. Right now, Flanagan has no excuse to continue stalling on signing whatever deal Liverpool have offered.

Author: Jaimie K


  1. I disagree that 'there can only be one reason why'. We don't have all the facts. Same as with the Sterling situation.

  2. Flanagan said in August he was close to signing a new deal. Rodgers stated in March that Flanagan 'will get a new deal'. Then, this month, he said he 'hopes the deal gets sorted'.

    What other possible reason is there for the deal to remain unsigned 8 months after Flanagan confirmed he was close to signing?

  3. I don't pretend to know. You may be right, but why jump on the kid if there's a slight chance you could be wrong?

  4. When I know there are others in my field of business which I see making equal or more than me for less contribution over the years, then yeah I could agree, especially when I know in my heart of hearts what I will continue to bring to the table. He probably based his value on what he knows he will bring to the team going forward. To me that means he has some confidence in his abilities. Shame he has suffered another setback. Hang in there. Hope they offer an extension at a min.

  5. 'Jump' on him? Please. Let's get the violins out for someone who gets paid thousands every week to recuperate from a football injury in world-class facilities, with the best fitness experts at his beck and call.

    Footballers are paid to deal with speculation, and given the greed that's inherent in the game, it's not unreasonable to suggest that Flanagan may be holding out for more money.

  6. Yes, jump on him. You seem to be half a step away from comparing him to some serial killer.

    You're right: it's not unreasonable to suggest that Flanagan may be holding out for more money. But is it really wise to do so when you don't have all the facts?

  7. When do we ever have all the facts? Football is about speculation, and it's a little disingenuous to complain about speculation when that is precisely what every fan - including yourself - does on a daily basis.

    I've outlined my reasons for my view, and based on available evidence, my conclusion is fair.

    If Flanagan can't hack the speculation - which is part and parcel of football - he can quit football and let someone else who can hack it take his place.

  8. What is up with our fitness and injury team? All these long term injuries that are happening to our players is comical.

    J Flannagan should sign whatever he is offered, he has not played enough this season to hold the club to ransom. Sterling on the other hand had to play up front for some of season and carry the burden of scoring when he is a winger. And there are 3 other strikers in squad on good wages who couldn't score in a brothel.

    Rodgers has stopped playing Sterling through the middle as he was scoring goals and terrorising teams and his stand off was being justified. R Sterling struggles playing out wide left when there is no class pace quality and speed in attack with him. ( Last Season with Suarez and Sturridge)

    It means that hopefully a new manager needs to bring in another RB and to keep Manquillo at club as like Sturridge and Flannagan can not be relied upon. So good class quality cover is desperately needed in the summer

  9. Due to his injury record, then possibly it is LFC that are stalling negotiations to see how he recovered from the injury. I wouldn't blame them. Though you may be right, it's such an overly simplistic thing to assume it is Flanagan being overly greedy. You're judging everything on such minimal amount of info (i.e., 2 vague, short quotes).

  10. Did it ever cross anyone's mind that perhaps the club was the one who balked at the offer once they realized his injury?

    The kid had a great season last year, and his injury was incredibly unfortunate. And while negotiations were ongoing, once he was injured he lost a significant amount of leverage to get a better deal. And the club gained a significant amount of leverage to offer a smaller deal.

    It's business, not charity. For both player and club. The player doesn't have a leg to stand on (no pun intended), while the club has all the power right now.

  11. @bob loblaw doesn't speculate!

    He articulates! He's my lawyer dammit!

  12. Yes, because there's absolutely no culture of player greed in football.

    Greed is the defining characteristic of modern football, so it's painfully naive of you to suggest that it might not be a factor.

    And again, fans constantly speculate based on minimal info; however, in this case, there is the context of footballer greed to go with it.

    My conclusion is entirely reasonable; people just don't like the conclusion, probably because Flanagan is a Brit, and a homegrown player.

    If it was, say, Balotelli stalling for 8 months, there would be blood on the streets.

  13. Fair enough.

    Not complaining, really. Just asking for cooler heads to prevail at a time when it seems everything is being blown out of proportion (not talking about you here).

    Also, I don't recall speculating on a daily basis. Not out loud at least.

  14. Objection!

    Oh, wait...

  15. Gutted for the lad. Might not have a chance to see those thunderous tackles from him in a red shirt again...

  16. I agree that greed is destroying the game, especially the young English players. They are such failures on the international stage but they all think they have achieved something.

    I'm not just looking at Sterling, but also looking at some of the Arsenal and Utd kids (e.g., Wilshere, Walcott, Cleverley, Smalling, Jones) - all hyped up when coming through the ranks and then completely stall on their progress, thinking they have made it. Walcott is such a prime example. Looking for a new contract when he has been constantly injured since he signed the last one.

    I am with you on the greed. I guess I just hoped someone 'local' like Flanagan would be better than that.

  17. Gutted...What the hell are they doing on the training pitch... LFC players are dropping like flies, repeatedly.... I'm seriously worried right now....

  18. Why is it, when a player, like all working peple, want to negotiate their contracts, they are greedy, when they should be grateful.... Grateful... really.

  19. I take your point. I could be wrong. I doubt it, but it's a definitely possibility ;-)

  20. Exactly - -----it could all end so very quickly, Gregory Mertens just died

  21. I get the sense you have a serious envy issue with footballers and the money they earn.... They earn what they get.... What exactly is the problem with trying to get the best deal they can.... We could always just let FSG take all the revenue generated by LFC

  22. It takes a huge amount of work and chance to get a senior contract.. The vast majority fail at the first hurdle, which suggests Flanno and whoever earned the right to negotiate...And like you say, a career is so short, and could all end tomorrow with a serious injury....

  23. Thats such a massive over generalisation.....There are many players who turn down more lucrative offers to go to one club over another, or even stay where they are....

  24. Let him GO - Disgracefull if he does not appreciate the offer made to him - SHOW HIM THE DOOR

  25. Jamie is 100 per cent correct - B R MUST GO -Players are taking the wee wee

  26. Is it not also entirely plausible that the suggested new offer never actually materialised, maybe it's all been just a load of flannel from BR and co.
    Perhaps they have been stalling whilst concerned about his on-going injury issues and the player has just been towing the party line when commenting on the situation.
    I only say this as Flanno comes across as a thoroughly decent chap, perhaps I'm being naïve but it just seems much more likely to be the other parties at fault in this instance.

  27. How do we know the club are not doing what you want? Or something similar. After the last injury they may not be offering much of an increase in wages but have it mainly performance based. We FSG wantbthat on the whole. So Flannel needs to play so many games etc. That kind of thing would take some haggling, and it's not like they sit around a table doing it. It is likely emailed offer after emailed counter offer once all parties have seen the bits and bobs and discussed it. Could ttake a while and anyone in any industry has a right to look after their own best interests.

  28. Case in the place5:11 pm, April 30, 2015

    Blimey, we're only going to have enough left for five-a-side at this rate.

  29. There is a lot of envy involved and it's easy to pick on the players.

  30. Jesu Jaime I thought you almost sounded quite sound there. You want to watch that ;p

  31. Yeah something is clearly wrong there.

  32. Case in the place5:19 pm, April 30, 2015

    Well, certainly not Gerrard. I've lost count of the number of different clubs he's thrown himself at in search of riches, the filthy trophy grabbing whore.
    Sorry feel dirty now, - CAPTAIN FANTASTIC, out on a high please and the door's open for that loan move next season to come and score the league winner for us. YNWA

  33. Just looked that article up... Sad, and shocking.. 24 years old is a crazy age to be dying of a heart attack...

  34. Case in the place5:41 pm, April 30, 2015

    Also, muchos-gracias Jamie, I didn't quite absorb all of Stan's post and now see I was saying pretty much the same thing but in an altogether less tasteful manor. Note to self, more think less type.

  35. He is signing his contract because of the injury. And in my opinion Liverpool should sign the contract even if doctors say he won't play before the end of the next season.

  36. voice of reason1:17 am, May 01, 2015

    somethings wrong at LFC why are all these injuries happening during training sessions; lucas, sturridge, lallana, sakho and now flannagan all in one season and with zaf iqbal gone somethings wrong with LFC

  37. Sterling is totally understandable, but throwing Flanagan under the bus right now is a little premature. Flanagan, like Johnson and Toure, has probably not even been offered a contract. Discussion and an offer are two completely separate things. Was it printed and put in front of the guy? I sincerely doubt it. It's all a bit quasi until a formal and physical offer is put before someone.

    Real world analogy, you could discuss a pay rise with an employer, but is anything guaranteed? Is there an offer? No.

    The club have moved slowly with contracts. They failed to offer Gerrard one, who has since walked. If Gerrard wasn't offered one, what chance does poor Flanagan have?

  38. Disagree, could it not be that Liverpool are stalling to see how his injury pans out.

    Don't know about you but I wouldn't want to be shelling out 40k a week on a player sidelined for God knows how long. Logical??

  39. Stan Dinaround4:28 pm, May 01, 2015

    Perfect example mate.