January 14, 2013 by Made In Brum
The famous quote from Helen Gurley Brown went- “Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort”. Not to say that Nikola Zigic is unhappy, how can he be? He earns a reported £60,000 a week. He is by far the highest earning player in English football outside the top flight.
Zigic has scored some important goals for Blues since he signed in May 2010. He has never been prolific (scoring record is 21 in 77 games according to Wiki) but there is no doubting that some of the goals he has chipped in with have been vital, none more so than the Carling Cup final opener.
But Birmingham City are in their own recession, during a national recession, and paying a player who sometimes seemingly goes about his job half-heartedly is ludicrous. When the giant Serbian international first joined, there was a clause written into his contract to give him a pay rise after 12 months. But that season, the club were relegated, meaning despite the drop in divisions, Zigic received a £10,000 a week pay increase. Who in their right mind thought this was a good deal to sign off? Who authorised it? What an absolute joke!
Last week, it was reported by Sky Sports that he turned down a move to Villarreal. His agent stupidly said- “He is happy with the money he gets, he loves life in the UK. He has a contract as though he would be playing for Manchester United. Birmingham City could buy five new players if he were to move but, as I said, he is not really keen on moving right now”.
Was his plan to throw petrol in an already aggressively burning fire? If it was, he has succeeded with aplomb as many Blues fans now have little time for Zigic. Seeing the club trying to offload gems such as Jack Butland, Nathan Redmond and a favourite like Curtis Davies, whilst Ziggy strolls around earning his overpriced crust is winding the supporters up. No, it is not Ziggy’s fault that his agent has come out with such ignorant comments, but his agent will not be on the pitch to take the stick.
Playing to his strengths, the 32 year-old can be an asset to the club. But could we not sign a striker from League One or Two who could do the same thing while earning £5,000 a week? I think we could. Even if Nikola was a 25-goal-a-season man, his salary cannot be justified in the second tier of the football pyramid.
So where do we go from here? No-one will sign him as he is on too much money and no clubs will take him on loan unless Blues pay half of his wages and reading his agent’s comments, it appears that he would be reluctant to move on even if a club were silly enough to offer to take him. So we are stuck in a big hole. If he was to leave, it would potentially save the club almost £3million a year in his wages alone and would probably ease the need to bulk-sell players.
Some people will ask “why should he move, no-one forced the club to pay him this commodious amount”. That is very true. But, in any other profession, Zigic would have been made redundant by now. And if the clubs goes into administration, I daresay he will be. But none of us want that to happen. It is a vicious circle and yet another example of the lack of business and football nous this board has.
By Rob Wildey