A player’s worst behaviour on the pitch of play will definitely attract a red card from the referee. But what happens when a footballer gets paid for avoiding it?

As part of the ongoing probe by Football Leaks: ‘The Dirty Business of Football’ on some of the unbelievable clauses inserted into players’ deals in the Premier League, it has been revealed by Daily Mail that Liverpool paid former striker £1m a season for avoiding being sent off up to three times.

A staggering £1million bonus clause was inserted into Mario Balotelli’s contract when he moved to Anfield three years ago from AC Milan that the former Reds striker had a staggering £1m bonus included in his Liverpool deal for not getting sent off three times in a season.

“If during each season of the term of this contract the player is not dismissed from the field of play on three or more occasions for violent conduct, spitting, for using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures and/or for dissent … then on the June 30 at the end of each season he shall receive a bonus payment of £1 million.”

Balotelli has had his disciplinary issues throughout his career but that is a shocking finding nevertheless that Liverpool would go to such lengths to try and curb the maverick Italian’s excesses and be willing to cough out such ridiculous figure for his signature on attitudinal grounds.


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