It seems that Sol Campbell may be leaving Newcastle under a bit of a cloud.
He was signed in a free transfer last summer on about £40,000 a week and after 4 starts and 3 substitute appearances the club had rather thought he might just walk away at the end of the season.
It seems however that a clause in his contract allows him to draw another month’s salary and get paid for July, thus earning him another £160,000. Sol, apparently, is going to hold the club to this clause in his contract.
The ubiquitous ‘club source’ has said:
“Sol has not really been involved and is clearly winding down his career, seeing out his time and being clearly unhappy with his injuries.
“The club offered a settlement on his contract so that he could walk away after the season ends but he refused. Instead, there is a clause that allows him to take another month’s money and he is going to eke out his final pay cheque in July for another £160,000.
“It leaves a sour taste. He clearly doesn’t need the money and, if he had any honour, he would go in June.“
Well, I can see both sides of the argument. I don’t want the club to pay out an additional £160,000 to a player who has done very little for us, yet a contract is a contract and you have to wonder why they put that clause in it in the first place. Bitter and petty it may be, but Sol is merely getting what’s owed to him based on the contract he signed.
I would have thought that after the contractual difficulties the club encountered upon relegation (i.e. having no clause in the players’ contracts to account for a relegation situation), they would have been a little more careful about the wording of contracts these days.
Interestingly, the ‘club source’ seems to think that Sol Campbell was one of the factors in Ashley’s decision to get rid of Chris Hughton. The source said:
“Campbell’s arrival and performances were certainly seen as a factor in the decision to part company with Hughton.“
Hmm, maybe. Campbell certainly wasn’t the best transfer we’ve ever made but to sack Hughton over it seems unlikely given that his transfer mistakes (which most managers make) seem to be easily balanced by his transfer successes.
Either way, from our perspective it’s £160,000 down the drain.