Fresh off of his hat trick against our most hated rivals in front of their own fans our very own Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah, is widely being hailed as the greatest player on the planet. Not bad for a one-season wonder if you ask me. Having the world’s greatest player in your squad isn’t such a bad thing either but it does not come without considerable cost. After a summer tying down many of our other key pieces to contract extension, the price of Salah’s signature continues to grow. Salah has publicly stated that he would love to stay at Liverpool until the end of his career but that it is not in his hands. Indeed, it will depend upon FSG’s ability and willingness to pay the going rate for a Balon d’Or frontrunner.
The amount that has been bandied about as Salah’s target if he is to sign an extension is somewhere between £300,000 to £400,000 pounds per week. For reference, the club’s current top earner is Virgil van Dijk at £220,00 per week. Mo Salah is an exceptional player and is key to Liverpool’s trophy designs over the next few seasons but is it really responsible to spend so much on a single player? FSG really needs to do the analysis of where that amount of money can be best spent in order to achieve the club’s ambitions and it could lead to some very hard choices.
In order to examine some possibilities, I’ll just shoot for the middle of the range being discussed and assume that £350,000 a week would get Mo to sign on to a further few years at Anfield and consider some other options FSG might have with that amount of money. For £350,000 a week you could get 1.6 Virgil van Dijks. While that .6 Virgil van Dijk would likely still be very handsome in his own right, I’m not sure what good a sub 4-foot tall center back would be unless your only other option was Harry Maguire so that’s clearly not a good option and perhaps this whole concept could use a little more thought.
If you were the type of person that liked collecting memorabilia you could purchase 3,846 Ben Davies replica kits with that amount of money each week or 18,421 t-shirts with Ole’s At The Wheel screen-printed across the front. If you happened to have a decent size trophy cabinet but haven’t been able to find anything to put inside for 26 years you could buy 200 cuckoo clocks and 14,000 bottles of furniture polish.
For that same amount of money each week you could get your hands on 116,667 pies from Homebaked Anfield. Jordan Henderson would likely be very disappointed in you if you didn’t put those pies in the hands of some underprivileged kids or NHS workers but we haven’t decided whether that’s what we’ll do with the cash or not, regardless of Marcus Rashford’s commendable lobbying efforts. I’m reasonably certain that for that amount of money you could probably buy at least a round of beers or two inside the stadium on matchday.
Those kinds of comparisons probably don’t really speak to John Henry and the rest of the FSG big shots, though. After all, they are all billionaires and can probably buy all the pies they want and undoubtedly already possess an impressive collection of Ben Davies replica kits. What would even be the point of being a billionaire if they didn’t? There is a way of measuring that impact that might speak to them, however, that could illustrate how much money it would cost to keep a valuable asset like Mo Salah in the team. It would be the type of information that successful people like those in charge of FSG would use to evaluate their options. It’s almost the very definition of moneyball, if you will. With £350,000 a week, or £18.2m per year, FSG could afford to pay 1.2 complete £15m UEFA fines for trying to form a European Super League per year.
While that last option must surely be very tempting to Liverpool’s benefactors, I think that it’s fairly evident that, after this very thorough analysis, FSG would be best served by showing Mo the money and keeping the most exciting player in the premier league as a part of the England’s most successful club a bit longer. If you’re in charge of Liverpool there can’t be anything worth more at the moment than keeping hold of Mohamed Salah. Not only because of what he will undoubtedly contribute on the pitch, but also because it will further prove that we are back on our perch. This is no longer the Liverpool Football Club where players spend a few years as a stepping stone on the way to a bigger club. This is, once again, the Liverpool that players dream of stepping up to, even from the world’s biggest clubs. £350,000 per week will buy us a few more seasons of watching Mo Salah running down the wing along with scenes of him lifting trophies and parading through Merseyside. It will also help keep hold of the relevance we’ve spent the better part of 30 years trying to regain. Paying Salah and not letting the best player in the world move to another club is much bigger than just the individual player and, in my estimation, £350,000 a week is a bargain.
Chief Financial Correspondent