Whilst Aston Villa seem free to spend what they want, releasing players this month has reduced the yearly wage bill by a suspected 13%.
Words by Matt Blogg | @Blogg_Matt
Foreword and additions by Editor
[The wages figures within this article are based upon information available to the public and may slightly differ due to club scrutiny in regards to wages All figures are before Tax.]
After announcing that the club have released eight players, and paid Ross McCormack out of the final year of his contract, Aston Villa’s wage bill is looking much healthier as big earners say goodbye to the club.
As a result of promotion to the Premier League, outcast Ross McCormack’s wage reportedly increased from £50,000 a week to £70,000 a week due to a clause in his contract – and Aston Villa have sensibly ended this deal through mutual consent and a pay-off.
McCormack is believed to have been handed around £3,000,000 to cut his time short at Aston Villa, having only played in 20 games for the club since 2016. His £70,000 contract would have cost Villa more than £3,640,000 over the course of the year, so ending the agreement was a logical decision for the board.
Whilst the fee paid to McCormack was probably higher than what Villa would have liked to pay, getting him off the books was the right thing to do, and the club are now better for it.
The Villa also had another two players reportedly earning £50,000 a week and sharing the title of the highest-paid player with Jack Grealish. Mile Jedinak and Micah Richards were both believed to be on the aforementioned wage, although it is very possible that Micah could have been on less. Releasing these two frees up around £5,200,000 across the year.
The next highest earner was Alan Hutton, who’s last reported wages are said to be around £30,000 a week. The defender took a pay cut when Aston Villa looked bereft in the summer and was the clubs longest serving player before his release.
The decision to not extend his contract saves the club around £1,560,000 a year in wages, and incredibly makes 23-year-old Jack Grealish the club’s longest serving player.
Also released from their contracts were Albert Adomah, Tommy Elphick and Ritchie De Laet – all on an estimated £25,000 a week. This, and the release of Glenn Whelan who was on an estimated £25,000 to £30,000 a week, saves Aston Villa just over £5,200,000 a year in wages, meaning funds are free for new players.
Finally, Mark Bunn was also released from his contract which was last estimated to be around £17,500 a week, but could have dropped after his contract was extended for a year last summer. Never a regular, Bunn didn’t earn the right to a huge salary, but releasing him still saves anywhere up to £910,000 a year.
So, after the release of these nine players, and the subsequent rise of Jack Grealish’s wages to a reported £50,000 (£2,600,000 per annum) earlier in the season, Aston Villa’s wage bill is now around £13,910,000 lighter, should all the estimated figures be correct. Then you need to factor in the wages of Lovre Kalinic, John McGinn and Orjan Nyland, who were all permanent signings last season – who take home an estimated £4,500,000 between them per year – leaving the departing players freeing up around £9,410,000 collectively.
This reduced the expected yearly wage bill to around £63,590,000 from £73,000,000 as it was reported in 2018. Factor in then any promotion wage increase bonuses and you’re seeing that figure maybe rise by a couple of a million. If you add in McCormack’s pay-off, then it rises again and is incredibly close to being similar to what it was.
However, it would be foolish to simply guess % rises in contracts via promotion, and without adding all of the promotion wage increases and McCormack’s pay-off, Aston Villa have relatively freed up 13% of what their wage budget was to spend in the Premier League. Even if you were to add the aforementioned money into the equation, of course, Aston Villa are still better off this season in regards to wages.
The difference is, Aston Villa are now Premier League, with rich owners who can afford to pay these wages. Looking to start a new chapter at the club, it was only right that these players were released from their contracts – and whilst it is sad to see some of them leave, the club are much better off for it.