Dick Law has stated that Liverpool were disrespectful when the Gunners bid £40,000,001 for Luis Suarez.
Former Arsenal negotiator Dick Law has claimed that Liverpool dealt things disrespectfully when they made an infamous bid worth £40,000,001 for Luis Suarez.
Back in the summer of 2013, Luis Suarez desired for a Champions League club desperately and was forced to train individually by Brendan Rodgers for his public comments. When the Gunners learnt about the club’s obligation to speak with the player if the offer is more than 40 million, the London side was on their machine. But, the deal never materialized.
When Arsenal bid £40,000,001, Liverpool owner, John Henry took the matter to Twitter and wrote: “What do you think they’re smoking over there at Emirates?”
In an exclusive interview with Goal, former Arsenal negotiator Dick Law spoke about the useless clause which made them approach the club and the player. Additionally, he found the tweet from John Henry a bit disrespectful.
Law said: “That spring, news got round to us that Suarez wanted out of Liverpool,”
“We got information that showed us what was negotiated between Liverpool and the player, and in our internal conversations decided that the clause was meaningless, that it was not a buy-out and it didn’t obligate Liverpool to do anything apart from have a conversation.
“So, whoever agreed to that clause in the Suarez camp was being less than clever because it was never a buy-out. What there was, was an obligation to discuss a transfer if a threshold was met and that threshold was £40m.”
Law added: “Now, we didn’t know if Liverpool received an offer of £40m whether they would say, ‘that’s not more than £40m’. We could have gone with £45m, but the point is we knew there was never a buy-out.
“So, it was never going to be a bid of £40m+1, it was always going to be the start of a negotiation.”
It prompted the ‘what do you think they’re smoking’ response from Henry and furthered Liverpool’s determination to keep hold of their star striker.
So, looking back on things now, does Law believe Arsenal handled the situation badly?
“We knew that we had to exceed a certain threshold and so we decided to throw another pound on it,” he said. “We could have thrown £50 or £500,000, but it wasn’t going to make any difference to the final negotiation.
“The offer was just a trigger. Liverpool wanted to make a big deal out of it and that’s fine. When they received our offer they immediately publicised it.
“I think John Henry wanted to know what we were smoking, which I thought was a bit disrespectful. It was him having a bit of a go because he was getting ready to lose his star player. It was a good way to deflect attention.”
Law added: “I always thought that the move to publicise it was counter-productive.
“One of the things we were always very proud of at Arsenal was working quietly behind the scenes. Ivan, Arsene and I always worked very hard on being discreet in all transfers.
“And I thought Liverpool shot themselves in the foot by basically saying they were now forced to entertain offers because of this clause, by publicising it they just made everyone aware and eventually they lost the player.”
A year later, Luis Suarez joined Barcelona for a transfer fee of £75 million. He pointed out Steven Gerrard’s advice to stay put for one more season and look for a challenge abroad.