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What Taylor’s Newcastle contract muddle teaches us



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The whole situation is embarrassing for Steven Taylor, who would probably want nothing more than to forget about contracts and concentrate on playing football for Newcastle United. He has 2 years left to go on his current deal, and as pursuant with Newcastle’s initiative to sign key players on long-term contracts (Milner and N’Zogbia already have their new 5-year deals), they offered Taylor a contract presumably at par with what Milner was offered.

Steven Taylor’s father and agent, Alf Taylor, has not only rejected the contract but chosen to talk to the press about it, trying to pressure Newcastle into giving Talor an astronomical pay-raise (does he want parity with Michael Owen?) by presenting it as if Newcastle are cheating Taylor out of what he is owed.

Ed over at the Newcastle blog backs Steven Taylor over this, but I don’t think it’s Taylor Jr. who’s pushing the agenda here – This has the all the trappings of a rookie agent getting power-drunk on his star’s abilities and aiming to milk the club for all that the kid is worth.

Steven Taylor has every right to reject a contract offer, but you don’t rat out to the press and try to paint the club as the evil party especially if you’re genuinely interested in playing for that club. Newcastle could easily accuse Alf of trying to pimp his son to the top four as a bargaining chip, and given the stage of his career it would be a ridiculous move to piss off the club that has given you a position in the starting lineup and fans who consider you a future captain.

Alf Taylor is a lousy agent. When we talk about agents ruining the game because of their corruption, we usually have the seasoned pros in mind. It’s to weed the ‘family members’ out of the game as well (Ronaldinho’s agent is the most famous example of a press whore agent) and instill professionalism in agents.