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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

What if We Had a Suarez Situation?

The fact that Liverpool are apparently having crisis talks over what best to do with Suarez got me wondering what if we had a situation that was similar. Where a player with a reprehensible past does something ridiculous, and looks like forcing your hand into doing something about him.

For me, it's not just the biting, what happened against Italy hasn't changed much about Suarez, it's not new, he's done this before, we knew he has this character flaw. There's an element of the repeated cheating over years (hand balls v Mansfield and Ghana, diving etc.) that make it worse, that despite his protestations about being reformed and how the media has it in for him, he just can't help himself. All this great campaign in the media about him achieving salvation during the year has been undone in one stupid moment. He tried to convince us he's changed, but there we go, the old character flaw reappears.

Liverpool now has a problem. A player this time last year they'd have sold for £50mill probably and made a profit, and last week would probably have fetched £70-80mill, but is by far and away your best player, now has the spectre hanging over him. One is a lengthy ban, which immediately depletes his value. The second is it's shown he isn't reformed in the slightest. Therefore he still has this flaw that makes him make horrific errors of judgement, and could see your huge buy side-lined for long periods because he's borderline mentally unstable. Morally they need to also make a stance. When you're as aware of community identity with your club as Liverpool do you align with someone like Suarez? But if they sell his value has diminished, no-one wants to fork out a fortune on a player prone to actions which would see lengthy bans.

So what if?

What if a Forest player was in this situation? Let us say for example Henri Lansbury was embroiled in such a thing. He isn't that kind of player, and I'm not suggesting he could be, but he's our most valuable player, ability and transfer value wise. For that reason I will use him as an example and that reason only. (And the fact he is universally praised and accepted by fans, so not tainted by poor opinions)

If Lansbury acted in such a way as Suarez did, or any matter that'd likely result in a long ban and his character called into question you have to think of selling? But right now, right at this point his value is peaking, as his contract begins to dwindle that will drop. But if he were to do a Suarez and have a hefty fine, his value would be less. If he can't play, then he less value. But then if it were say a 6 month ban, which is feasible for Suarez, when he returns that value is so much lower as his contract would be closer to expiry. So you've lost out either way, and buying clubs would know this and negotiate as such.

You have to be seen to on the one hand in some cases defend your player but Suarez has had chances. If this was Forest I feel as a club, you'd have to be looking to move him no matter. Sponsors wouldn't want to be seen to potentially have their bran linked to an act of violence, and no matter what he does in his career, no matter what else he wins; Suarez will always now be tainted by this. He did this on the biggest stage with Hundreds of Millions if not Billions watching. The images have gone global. With Forest, although as not as high profile, and without the huge corporate partners it would still harm a brand. Sponsors don't want every time that image is shown that their logo is shown. Pressure would be on from extremely valuable clients to get rid.

It is a balance. Balancing a hugely talented wonderful asset on the one hand, but a poisonous source of bad publicity on the other. As well as the possibility of an incident occurring again, and bringing about a huge ban again.

I think as fans we would all agree that the player has to go. As talented as the example and purely an example (I know how people selectively read) Lansbury is, should he or any other player do something as reprehensible, I would want them certainly fined and dropped for a large period of time, but sold should a suitable suitor represent themselves.

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