I cannot in any legal sense get my head around this. In 2003, Chelsea uses it’s newly printed oil mafia cash to overpay Parma for the rights to Adrian Mutu. Mutu plays for a year, gets caught doing blow, and is suspended for 7 months. Chelsea decides to terminate his contract, escaping having to pay his wages during the suspension by firing him “for cause.” So far, I get it.
Chelsea then sues Mutu (through the various sport arbitrators) to try and recover the amount that it didn’t earn by reselling Mutu in the transfer market, and WINS, to the tune of over $24 million dollars. Wha? So many problems with this:
1. Where’d they get that figure? It is unfair to assess his market value based upon the inflated amount Chelsea paid, and he certainly didn’t live up to the valuation in his year at the Bridge. Plus, the rumors of drug use had been confirmed by the suspension, which hardly increases a player’s value.
2. Chelsea didn’t have to terminate his contract and make him a free agent. I understand why they did, and they benefited financially by not having to pay Mutu during his suspension; further, they gained by not paying his wages for the term of the contract that, cynically, he wasn’t worth. But again, they CHOSE to forfeit their rights to Mutu rather than try and sell him, even for pennies on the dollar. In any legitimate tribunal, Mutu is at least entitled to an offset for what they might have been able to get for him, and this is a sum that can be gleaned by looking at Mutu’s subsequent transfer history.
3. This is dangerous precedent. Mutu was terminated for violating his contract, and has to pay what he would be worth if the club had sold him. That figure was determined entirely by looking at what Chelsea paid for him. Isn’t this a way for clubs that spend silly money overpaying for players just to make a splash to get out from under their own stupidity? City could have terminated Robinho for going awol last year, and perhaps they’ll consider it moving forward if they could get their 55m back from him. This is not a frivolous concern.
4. His wife is smoking hot. Consuelo, Soccerati is here for you if you need anything.