John Terry’s reportedly ready to sign a new contract with Aston Villa that would allow him to skip games against Chelsea, should Villa be promoted. The man did enough damage to Chelsea in Moscow, it’s hardly going to be any worse.
The spineless negotiators have given into the fact that Terry isn’t a professional footballer anymore – just a showpiece for a rugged edge that Chelsea so famously exhibited for so long. But it got us thinking about some of the weirder contract clauses in professional sport.
Here are six of the most bizarre.
Stefan Schwarz – Sunderland
Naturally, clubs carry out due diligence regarding injury history when signing players.
However, when Sunderland signed Stefan Schwarz just before the turn of the century, they noticed that one of his advisors had reserved a spot on a Virgin Galactic flight. For best practice, they entered a clause in his deal that said he couldn’t partake in space travel. As you do.
Mack Brown – Texas Longhorns
College football plays second fiddle to high school ball in the big ol’ state of Texas, but the recent Longhorns resurgence has interest piqued again. In 2012, Mack Brown extended his contract, but only if he got an extra $60,000 per annum as the college’s golf club chairman.
Oh, and a gun shop voucher. Apparently, he got both. ‘Murica.
The 1972 Oakland Athletics
Basically, Reggie Jackson came back after a long winter with a new moustache which annoyed then-owner Charlie Finley. When he refused to shave it off, Finley saw an opportunity for marketing and encouraged everyone on the team to grow a tascher. He also added in a clause that, should the team grow their facial hair out by a given date, they would be given a $300 bonus. One of the players – Rollie Fingers – got a moustache wax bonus added in, too.
Joe DiMaggio – Heinz Ketchup
Now, this was never strictly confirmed – but: Big Joe’s record of 56 straight games with a base hit in the 40s is considered one of the greatest sporting streaks of our time, but apparently he fell a game short of nabbing a quarter of his salary as the trademark ‘57’ associated with Heinz had supposedly offered him $10,000 should he make the magic number.
Roy Oswalt – Houston Astros
Baseball players are often asked about their goals for the season, but Drayton McLane was keen to know about Roy Oswalt’s life aims. When Oswalt replied that he always dreamed of owning a bulldozer, he promised the ace that should he beat the Cards in Game 6 of the NLCS, he would buy him one. And so he did.
Rick Mirer – Seattle Seahawks
Rick Mirer signed a rookie deal with the Seahawks in 1993 after being picked second overall in the NFL Draft. However, one of his more interesting specifications when it came to crunching the numbers was his insistence that he be paid should the world face its end, and human annihilation led to a cancellation of sporting competition. Ultimately, Mirer’s intangibles let him down at pro level. Shocker.