From the Press box

Nicole Carroll: A one woman mission to make a name in football

Wages at Hull: What a load of Bull(ard)

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Those who drop out of the Premier League following relegation always have to move in an effort to lighten the books in terms of wages and personnel to be able to survive on the lower revenue in the Championship. Despite the fact that these clubs do receive parachute payments, life in the lower league is something which can be hard to adjust to, and any clubs who have financial problems before dropping into the Championship, for example Leeds United, can end up freefalling lower in the leagues.

Hull City were almost a fairytale story when they managed to gain promotion in the Premier League, and finish in a respectable position, exceeding everyones predictions of relegations. Second season syndrome has hit the club hard however, and now look at playing in the Championship next season, and will be waving goodbye to the majority of their Premier League players, and will be looking to rebuild on a budget to try and get back to the promised land.

With club debts of £35 million, and a wage bill of £40 million, Hull are understandably under pressure to trim the wage bill to avoid financial disaster, the type we’ve seen at Portsmouth this season, and where we’ve seen other clubs go out of business. Despite Hull’s problems, one player who will be clinging onto that club for dear life will be Jimmy Bullard.

The 31 year old player is on around £45,000 a week at Hull. He’s uninsured due to numerous knee problems, and would not pass a medical at another club, so the prospect of being able to get a contract at any other club, especially on the kinds of wages he is on, are slim at best. Even worse for Hull, Bullard still has another three years left on his contract.

To put it frankly, Bullards contract is ridiculous. Paying that kinds of money for a player with well known injuries, injuries so bad that he couldn’t pass a medical, seems ludicrous. The return for Hull has been minimal, and some fans may argue that it is deals like this that have lead to the downfall of Hull in the Premier League. Bullard, in turn, also looks like a greedy player, who pushed to leave Fulham in pursuit of a contract which was simply greedy and not relative to what he could give to the club. There is no way that Bullard will ever get a deal like this again, so he might not have to try too hard to stay at Hull, as there would appear to be no reason for any club to take a chance on the player if he expects those kinds of wages.

There is no doubting that Bullard is a good player, but he was never going to truly represent good value for money. Money needs to be relative in the league, and spending big on wages will not equal success

The only salvation from this story however, is the fact that Hull are so keen to sort our their debt problems, and after having their fingers burnt in the Bullard deal, know in future not to take a gamble on a player that just won’t work out. Unlike other clubs, Hull aren’t burying their heads in the sand, and seem to be making a concerted effort to dig themselves out of these financial difficulties to put them on an even keel when they challenge to come back into the Premier League.


Written by Nicole Carroll

April 27, 2010 at 9:08 pm

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