Luis Suarez did have a buyout clause, it turns out.
Arsenal did meet said buyout clause, it turns out.
So, how did Suarez avoid becoming an Arsenal player? Apparently, Liverpool just said “fuck it” and ignored the buyout.
“Arsenal offered £40m and one pound for him and triggered his buy-out clause,” said Henry.
“Since apparently these contracts don’t seem to hold, we took the position we’re just not selling.”
Source: BBC Sport and a lot of others.
I gotta admit, this is a pretty solid strategy. I wonder how Suarez feels about it? I guess fine now that it has turned out that Liverpool is good? But, given how little an impact Mesut Ozil has actually had with Arsenal, you have to wonder what things would look like if Arsenal had signed Suarez instead of Ozil. Striker has been their biggest area of concern all season long.
The thing I’m most interested in about this is whether these contracts actually “don’t seem to hold” or whether this is code for, “Holy shit Arsene Wenger is a pussy.” Because, I’m guessing that what this came down to is a bunch of people talking loud into speaker phones, relaying messages to Arsene Wenger, Brendan Rodgers laughing a LOT, and then Arsene getting really, really frustrated.
Really, this worked out for everyone. Other than Suarez if Liverpool were to have a collapse and miss the Champions League. Fortunately for them, Tottenham look ready to also collapse.
I would like to see other teams try this for other contracts. Like, why didn’t Liverpool try this with Andy Carroll? Just not pay the guy, shrug and mumble about contracts not holding. I’m interested in seeing how that’d work out for them.