With the club seemingly giving up on Premier League survival last Christmas, some of the player contracts drawn up under Tom Fox’s tenure last summer, have raised question marks as to them influencing team selection.
First there was the Chinese whispers about the clauses IN Adama Traore’S contract. It was rumoured that if he played over a certain amount of games, then his wages would increase to a substantial level.
Initially, Villa fans were uneasy at the buy-back clause that Barcelona had in his contract, although this was viewed as standard practise by Barca. But there was greater puzzlement over why Traore – when fit – would be sitting on the bench and not even coming on for the final 10 or 15 minutes, considering the hapless toothless nature of the Villa team on the pitch.
Were the club purposely avoiding triggering any bonus payment/wages?
Jordan Veretout Interview
In a interview this week with France Football, Jordan Veretout suggested this might have been the case with him at Villa. Currently on loan at Saint-Etienne, it’s extremely unlikely he’ll play for Villa again.
Nantes were due a bonus from Villa when the midfielder made 30 appearances. Guess how many appearances Veretout made for Villa? Yes, 29.
“They told me they didn’t do it on purpose,” said Veretout in the interview.
“But when you are a sub, there’s only one midfielder on the bench, me, a midfielder on the pitch gets injured, and they bring on a forward, you can only question the decision”
With Villa cost cutting left, right and centre when the club was up for sale and after they unceremoniously seemed to give up on fighting for their Premier League status, did that mentality extend to the pitch?
It would explain why Traore and Veretout weren’t used as much as they could have been, especially when you consider their sizeable transfer fees and the initial high expectations of them.
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