Tottenham are doing Modric a favour by blanking Chelsea

Chelsea’s attempts to shop locally rarely produce good results

Luka Modric

Luka Modric is bossing the back pages right now. The Croatian misguidedly assumed gentlemanliness to be a common characteristic of football folk and is now angry that Spurs won’t stick to an apparent gentleman’s agreement to let him leave the second he got what he considered to be a better offer.

Is he right to feel aggrieved? Only Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy truly knows. If he is keen to keep Modric around though, Levy should probably show him how the last few Premier League players to have been snapped up by Chelsea have fared to snap him out of his sulk…

Fernando Torres
“He’ll come good eventually,” is the party line of the punditocracy after Torres struck just once in his first 18 appearances at Chelsea. Andriy Shevchenko was once similarly backed though…

Yossi Benayoun
Injury problems were a factor in Benayoun starting just one Premier League game in his debut campaign at Chelsea, though he was on the bench prior to his Achilles tendon problem.

Daniel Sturridge
Afforded just two Premier League starts in two seasons at Chelsea. A Bolton side with a far less glamorous support cast handed him 11 chances to shine on loan and he responded with eight goals.

Ross Turnbull
The goalkeeper was always going to be a reserve following his arrival from Middlesbrough but probably didn’t anticipate seeing less action than Hilario in his first two years as a Blue.

Nicolas Anelka
Avram Grant signed him and then swiftly subbed him, however the French striker has proved more popular with the three managers since, providing the contribution expected of a £15 million man.

Steve Sidwell
The now Fulham midfielder had a blink-and-you’ll-miss it season at Stamford Bridge in 2007-08, making 15 top-flight appearances – over half off the bench – before heading to Aston Villa.

Tal Ben Haim
Signed the same summer as Sidwell and dispatched with similar haste, the Israeli defender actually made the starting line-up ten times, which is more than he managed at three of his next four clubs.

Torres is omitted having only joined six months ago, however the last six Chelsea signings from other English teams have averaged a scary 11.7 Premier League starts a campaign in west London. You’ve been warned Luka…

14 responses so far
  • harry // July 11, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Ya Anelka got the golden boot in 2008/2009.. brilliantly written article.. chelsea bashing.. Frank Lampard ??? Joe Cole????

  • Spursforme // July 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Lets look at the possibility of a so called “Gentleman’s agreement”.
    I was under the impression that any agreement between 2 parties where one party is offering a service or product in exchange for gain, was called a contract. in the past contracts were only verbal however, two or more parties could easily interpret differently the same section of any contract (agreement), with both parties being in the right. This is why it became necessary to write down (record) the terms of agreement. This document duly signed by both parties (or all parties) became known as a contract.
    The questions I have are;- why in hell`s name have a contract between Spurs and Modric (+ modrics agent) on one hand and then a so called gentleman’s agreement on the other? both apparently agreed and in force at the same time? Why was not the terms of the gentleman’s agreement incorporated into the body of the official contract? the particular term of release that Modric refers to is a fairly standard one and so if there ever was an agreement it surly would have been in the contract document.
    The only conclusion I can draw from the above is that there never was a gentleman’s agreement.

  • CarefreeClub // July 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Silly, biased article.

  • avb // July 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    what? anyone can write an article here?

  • Seth // July 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Those last two are the only legitimate ones. Well done, 2 for 7. Luka is also well above the calibre of all of these players, except el Nino and maybe Anelka. So it’s moot anyway. The Spoiler is such garbage now. Using Anelka as evidence is a joke.

  • George // July 11, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Another article written by someone who is too lazy to do any proper research. I hope thespoiler doesn’t pay you Mr. Lintorn, because it would be a waste of their resources.

  • Michael Lintorn // July 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Cheers for the comments. The intent of the article wasn’t to deride Chelsea (who The Spoiler has gone against the grain to defend against accusations of having a squad that is too old) or compare anyone to Modric.

    It was simply to note that of the seven Premier League players that they have signed over the last four seasons, only one (Anelka) has been a significant success, as it is fairly surprising given the amount of success Chelsea have in the transfer market in general.

    Regarding the “poor research” responses (a welcome antidote to recent complaints of too much research!), I don’t think there are any factual inaccuracies, though feel free to point any out and I will amend them. The only obvious bone of contention I can see is that Ross Turnbull was technically a Championship player at the time of his move from Middlesbrough, though his last appearance for them came in the Premier League.

  • avb // July 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    you are only right about fernando torres mr. lintorn. i wish we never had bought him. now we are short of 50 million pounds and we have an excess of striker force to take care of(that is precisely the reason of sturridge’s disappointment).
    i wish we hadn’t been so hasty last winter, we could’ve got falcao easily this summer. now i’m not even sure if we need him.
    i guess we don’t need to buy much in case we are not selling much. just get modric, and a decent defender who can cover up for any injury between cole, ivanovic, luiz and terry, now that alex is leaving.
    along the front we already have drogba, sturridge, torres, kalou…..even anelka till now. honestly i think buying falcao will be only a waste of money.

  • John // July 11, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I expect better Spoiler…and I am an American. I should not feel I can write a better football article than an Englishman.

  • footballnlaw // July 12, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Regarding the gentleman’s agreement, there are 2 issues. (1) is it incorporated in the terms of the contract? (2) if not, it could still exist as an oral agreement, and if it does/did, is/was it enforceable?

    (1) I think by the way that Luka has communicated publicly, the likelihood is that a GA exists, but is not incorporated in the actual terms of Luka’s employment contract with the Spurs.

    First, on the possibility of the GA existing in the contract itself. Not likely. How many teams do we know of that allows its players to insert such a clause into their employment contracts? we don’t have hard evidence, but we can presume with confidence (on a look back through transfer windows in the past, and players handing in transfer requests) that this rarely, if ever happens. But fine, on the possibility that the GA was in the contract, perhaps the terms have been set in a such a way that it is extremely difficult to meet the set of conditions that allow the exercising of the right in the GA. either way, it seems unlikely the GA is in the contract.

    Second, the possibility could be that it was an oral GA (that’s what you’d normally imagine a gentleman’s agreement to be). The question then, is ‘was there an actual oral GA?’

    Well, we would ask – would Luka claim there existed an oral GA if there wasn’t one? Does he have a history of lying? With the ‘reported’ interest from Chelsea, it is not surprising a player such as Luka would chose this important juncture in his career to try to force a move. I believe the situation points toward the likelihood that Luka did have an oral GA with dan levy and the spurs.

    But, assuming then, it really is Luka/his rep making these statements, and that there was a GA outside of a contract, is it enforceable?
    (2) well generally in the united states, if there already exists a valid contract, at common law, there can be no modification of the contract unless additional consideration (bargained for promise) from both sides is exchanged. Luka already has a pre-existing duty to perform his part of the contract. He offered nothing to the Spurs in exchange for the GA right to leave for another team. Thus, under common law in the united states, the GA is unenforceable. The only defense that Luka could offer that would help his cause of action is that he detrimentally relied the Spur’s representations in the GA. Unfortunately, it doesnt seem like hes bought a house in chelsea, and even then, the courts hesitate to allow the breacher of a contract to create situations which will benefit the breacher’s cause of action.

    So, no, even if an oral GA existed between dlevy and Luka, it would not be enforceble. (please feel free to correct me on K law- i know i didnt go over parol evidence or statute of frauds, both of which would apply here against Luka)

    I feel then, what Luka has done (complain publicly) is perhaps one of his only options to create a situation where he could move to Chelsea. However, it is pretty unprofessional… If I was his lawyer/agent, I would have advised him to privately negotiate for his exit by coming up with a mutually agreeable compromise, such as first helping dan levy find a suitable replacement (perhaps a hidden gem on the croatian national team, who knows).

  • Seth // July 12, 2011 at 6:02 am

    Cheers, footballnlaw. You’re the only person who has sensibly talked about the Modric situation that I’ve stumbled across.
    I may be wrong, but I believe Aguero had a similar weird little agreement in his contract at Atl. Madrid, where the club would listen to all serious offers if the player wanted, with the only exception being Real Madrid. Weird as it may sound. Other than that, I agree with you. I think both Luka and Levy have been pretty unprofessional, especially if Luka’s comments in the press are true and Levy is being a total tw*t about it.

  • Spursforme // July 12, 2011 at 10:21 am

    contract law in England is different to that in Scotland and the USA, rest of the world.

    Why is it so dam hard for anyone to try to understand the simple fact. Forget finer points of law. Why the f*ck have 2 agreements? one written (a recorded contract) and one verbal (unrecorded so called gentleman’s agreement).

    Just one recorded contract would solve all the problems and could easily have included a sell on clause. Many footballers contract include such a clause. All Mordic, his agent of solicitor (yes he would have had one) needed to do was insert a clause in the contract that triggered a release under certain conditions, it could be Spurs not making the CL, it could be another so called bigger club making an offer over a and above a pre agreed sum, all this things are in many players contracts up and down the country.

    So do we really think that Mr Modrics team are so unprofessional that they would not have inserted all of their clients wishes into the contract. No of course not. So we must conclude that there never was any verbal agreement.

    On a finer point of law in England even a verbal agreement is a binding contract for example if i go into a store and verbally agree a price to purchase an item, i may even request as part of the deal to take it back if it does not fit etc, that agreement is binding but only verbal and unless there were independent witnesses unenforceable if one of the parties reneges on the deal and refuses to admit there ever was a contract. That is why people started to write them down and get both parties to sign them. Of course there has to be a consideration for example i will let you have this if you give me that but again that needs to be recorded. The best way to record a contract is to write it down and get both parties to sign it of there own free will. Even them if one of the parties can prove that they were acting “under duress” when signing the contract then the contract in its entirety will be null and void.

    Also at what point did Modric decide Chelsea where his dream club?? not Barcelona, not Man utd, Liverpool, but CHELSEA? f*ck off pull the other one Modric it is now Chelsea because they are in the CL and are the only club in with an offer. Dream club my royal ass.

  • steve // July 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    correlation ≠ causation

  • Godson // July 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    That’s nonsense! Modric is not the same with those players and not under the same coach.

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