Contracts do not always mean a lot when it comes down to footballers, it seems at times. There have been many players in the past, and it will undoubtedly happen in the future, whereby they have not been happy to see out the agreement that they have signed and look to force their own agendas.
Sometimes, in the rare occasion, there have been cases where players would not move because they knew they would not receive better offers from elsewhere and have been more than happy just to be frozen out but continuing to pick up a pretty wage slip each week.
Admittedly, the majority of the nonsense that turns footballers into ‘contract rebels’ is down to the possibility of being able to find a new club that they are keen to join or, perhaps know that there is an opportunity for them to earn a bigger pay-day – even if the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Here are just a few men who have become known as a ‘contract rebel’ and will likely be known one for the rest of their playing days (or even lives) and you only have to look to the latest football news to find one such individual…
1/ Lyle Taylor
Charlton Athletic’s Lyle Taylor may not be a household name amongst those that follow the Premier League, but he will be a big-name player to most that know the EFL pyramid. The Montserrat international has been vital for the Addicks over the last two years as his goals have helped the south London outfit climb out of League One and give them a fighting chance of remaining in the Championship. However, he has since decided he is too fearful to finish the season as he does not want to jeopardise his chances of getting a big-money move elsewhere and has likely angered the passionate Charlton fanbase with his decision.
2/ Christian Eriksen
One of the most recent ‘contract rebels’, Christian Eriksen would have angered Tottenham Hotspur after he revealed he would not be renewing his deal with the club amid continued speculation that he could join Real Madrid. Spurs looked to offer him a number of deals to try and convince him north London was the best place for him and even the arrival of Jose Mourinho as manager was not enough for him. Of course, Los Blancos never came calling for him and the Denmark international had to settle for a move to Inter Milan, leaving Tottenham to take a huge hit on his transfer fee in the process.
3/ Steve McManaman
Real Madrid did bring in Steve McManaman, though, albeit just over two decades ago. The former England international winger decided to leave Liverpool for the Spanish capital after deciding to take advantage of the Bosman ruling that allowed players to leave their clubs for free at the end of his contract. The Reds tried desperately to keep their academy graduate and key first-team player at Anfield, however Macca was not having any of it.
4/ William Gallas
Whilst at Chelsea, William Gallas was perhaps one of the club’s best defenders, so it was a shock and frustrating for fans after they had heard what the Frenchman had allegedly claimed he would do to get himself a new contact. it has been reported that the former international threatened to pull out of an FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool and looked to extort more money from the board in his new contract talks. It was also claimed he refused to play in the opening game of the following season, threatening to get himself sent off or score an own goal.
5/ Winston Bogarde
What is it with Chelsea and defenders looking to be rebellious when it comes down to contracts? However, Winston Bogarde is perhaps known for being a rebel in a different at to one that we have become accustomed to. The Dutch defender was told by Claudio Ranieri that he was no longer needed at the club and that they wanted to sell him, however the former Netherlands international refused and decided to see his contract out because of how much money he was earning; knowing he would not receive the same amount wherever he went next – and to think, this was all before Roman Abramovich and his mega millions pitched up at Stamford Bridge.