Monday night’s exhilarating match between Newcastle and Everton created many headlines yet it was one in particular that has given Alan Pardew a headache.
Pardew’s decision to omit Demba Ba from his starting line up was viewed with scrutiny by many, yet comments from his entourage since then has opened up the debate over the strikers future all over again according to the Mirror.
Tensions between player and club began this summer when Ba and his agent attempted to restructure the Senegalese striker’s deal. The Newcastle number 9 currently has three years remained on his contract with £50,000 a week wages yet believes he deserves twice that amount. Such contract demands hindered any potential move away from St James Park during this summer’s transfer window – the striker has a £7.5m release clause yet no clubs interested were willing to meet Ba’s individual financial demands.
Newcastle are desperate to organize a deal with their target man yet Alan Pardew is determined not to be held to ransom by his number 9. However Pardew’s actions on Monday, leaving Ba on the bench, have stirred up emotions in the strikers’ camp. Ba’s brother took to twitter, branding Pardew ‘crazy’ for leaving his sibling on the bench, whilst his agent made it clear that the Senegalese international would look to move if he was used as a sub in the future.
Yet according to the Mirror Pardew has maintained a good relationship with Ba over the last few weeks. It appears that the words of other parties that have irritated the Newcastle manager and rightly so. Neither Ba’s agent nor his family have any influence in the footballing matters at Newcastle United football club and nor should they.
What we have here is another example of the business aspect of football, which recently has simply been tarnishing the reputation of the British game. Demba Ba has established himself as important player on Tyneside and a good Premier League striker, netting 16 goals in the league last season and 19 in 38 appearances since arriving at St James Park. For me, his £50,000 a week contract reflects his abilities – Ba is a striker on the up and will surely obtain a more lucrative deal in the future if he steers Newcastle to Champions League football and climbs the scoring leader board.
Ba’s petulance, which has resonated around his camp, over contractual issues is simply a demonstration of a player not understanding how good his life is. Surely the 27-year-old doesn’t need the extra £50,000 a week when he is taking home just under £2m a year after taxes. News will certainly not sit well with Magpies fans especially at a time when ticket prices are on the rise around the Premier League.
The Newcastle striker’s problem is not one of poor wages but more one of personal greed. Sadly, this is something we are seeing more and more in the Premier League these days. We have entered into a culture synonymous with American sports franchises where players moan and complain in order to get paid before they improve their performances. What we need is to return to the old system – players should be given pay rises from their clubs based on good performances, not demand them in order whilst holding out on their maximum effort.
All I want to say is, good on Alan Pardew for standing his ground. Hopefully he can serve as an example to football clubs who’ve been a lacking a bit of backbone in recent seasons.