West Ham’s attempt to lure Thierry Henry back to England
West Ham United today launched an audacious bid to bring former Arsenal favourite Thierry Henry back to the Premier League.
Co-Chairman David Sullivan has offered Henry a deal that would make him the highest paid player in the club’s history, on a reported £75,000 per week salary.
The Barcelona striker is believed to have been offered a two year deal by the Upton Park club, which could be worth up to £7.5 million.
This huge offer comes even though West Ham are in a certain amount of debt, as admitted by the club’s new chairmen.
“Our club is in debt but a striker of his quality and standing would make it a great deal. Henry is still up there with the best,” said Sullivan.
This seems like a baffling move given the fact that Premier League clubs watched on as Portsmouth became the first top-flight club to go into administration this season.
Other clubs need to learn a simple business lesson to avoid them suffering the same fate as Pompey - don’t continue to spend exorbitant sums of money on wages if the club’s finances are not in great shape.
It is a very slippery slope towards administration and liquidation if clubs continue to fly too close to the sun.
Without claiming to be an expert on the ins and outs of West Ham’s finances, one would imagine they don’t have the same ability to service their debts as the likes of Manchester United do.
In addition, the signing of Kieron Dyer on a similarly large wage did not exactly do wonders for the club’s league position or financial health.
In fact, the new co-Chairmen attacked the previous regime for giving out such large contracts to players such as Dyer.
Without being totally negative, it is possible to understand the attraction of bringing a big name like Henry to the club.
It is more likely to swing season ticket holders who were contemplating whether or not to renew for next season.
It will have added benefits in terms of shirt sales and other merchandising.
But, the club should still weigh up whether this offer is good for the long term health of the football club.
Too many clubs are planning in the very short term to keep the fans happy, but one would imagine those fans would be happier still to have a football club to support in 10 years time.