Well that’s its official, the Championship’s resident reprobate, Jay Bothroyd, is on his way to Asia in a reported £5 million-a-year deal which will see him hook up with Thai outfit, Muangthong United.
Bothroyd has been without a club since he left QPR in June and despite boasting an appalling record in recent years, Muangthong have decided to make him their highest earner, and that’s after tax.
By Stuart Hynd – @supers0nic_
Bothroyd is undoubtedly one lucky fella, and this story got us thinking of other naff players who have struck gold with unprecedented million dollar contracts … here’s our top 10!
Christopher Samba, QPR (£100,000 per week)
When struggling QPR signed Samba from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala in January last season, manager Harry Redknapp quipped, “Chris is just what we need. He’s a monster.”
Sadly for ‘Arry and co. the only thing monstrous about Samba was his weekly pay check, with the ex-Blackburn defender committing a series of comical errors before the R’s were relegated and he returned to Anzhi in the same season he left.
Hulk, Zenit St Petersburg (£125,000 per week)
Hulk is a player who has always failed to live up to his billing, with the Brazilian’s time in Russia far from plain sailing.
There were clear fractions in the Zenit squad when Hulk signed from Porto and his wage slip was revealed to the playing staff. Hulk has failed to settle to life in Russia … it must be a hard life receiving £120,000+ a week.
Garry O’Connor, Lokomotiv Moscow (£40,000 per week)
Garry O’Connor is a name most Scottish football fans will be familiar with. The Edinburgh born striker played for local side Hibernian for six years, scoring 40+ goals in 130 appearances.
An average goal scorer at best, in a division which lacked any real quality, O’Connor’s life changed forever when he moved to Lokomotiv Moscow in 2006.
Garry reportedly earned £40,000 a week for what we remember as very minimal effort.
In fact, O’Connor lasted just one season in Moscow before escaping back to Britain with Birmingham City.
Fernando Torres, Chelsea (£200,000 per week)
When Chelsea signed Fernando Torres from Liverpool in January 2011 for £50 million, the Blues would be forgiven for believing they were getting one of the best strikers in Europe of the past five years.
Sadly, they were very much mistaken.
Torres has been an undeniable flop, with reported wages of £200,000 a week even failing to revitalise the Spaniard’s form.
Thomas Gravesen, Celtic (£45,000 per week)
Thomas Gravesen left the Bernabeu in 2006 for the Paradise of Celtic Park.
Gravesen was capped 66 times by his country and had made appearances at Euro 2000, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004 – a statistic which clearly didn’t surpass ex-Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, as he handed the Dane a huge reported £45,000 a week contract.
That’s a lot of money for a bench warmer who made just 22 appearances in two injury-laiden years in Scottish football.
Owen Hargreaves, Manchester United (£70,000 per week)
Owen Hargreaves’ time at Bayern Munich saw him heralded as one of the toughest midfielders in Europe as he racked up 145 appearances for the Bavarian side. Sadly though, the second part of his career wasn’t quite so fruitful.
Hargreaves’ four years at Manchester United saw him make just over 30 appearances as he was plagued with a consistent stream of serious injuries. Hargreaves latterly signed for United’s rivals Manchester City, but his luck didn’t change as he made just one solitary appearance in 2011.
Not that Hargreaves will be too upset, however, as I’m sure the odd glance at his bank balance would make him forget all about it.
Andrey Arshavin, Arsenal (£120,000 per week)
When Arsenal signed Russian forward Andrey Arshavin they understandably expected the arrival of a player who had awed fans and terrorised defences and at Euro 2008.
Unfortunately for Arsene Wenger’s side, the player they received was not only lazy and lacking in confidence but showed no determination to recapture the form which made him one of the most wanted men in Europe.
This lack of form mixed with bad attitude was of course accompanied by a massive undefendable salary.
Andrey left the Emirates and returned to Russia in 2013, his pockets all the heavier for his London ‘experience’.
David Bentley, Tottenham Hotspur (£60,000 per week)
They called David Bentley ‘The Next David Beckham’, ‘A Future England Captain’ and ‘A True Great In The Making’.
None of the three ever materialised.
A magical finish against Arsenal aside, Bentley struggled to find any kind of form at Tottenham despite his mammoth wage. £60,000 a week does strike us as a bit much for a player who managed just 40 appearances in five years at White Hart Lane.
Emmanuel Adebayor, Manchester City (£142,000 per week)
Emmanuel Adebayor is one of the most controversial characters the Premier League has ever seen – the Togolese striker is basically football’s equivalent of Marmite.
Not that his questionable temperament or inconsistent form dissuaded big spending Manchester City as the ex-Arsenal forward was one of the first players ex-gaffer Mark Hughes bought with Shekh Mansour’s millions.
Ask any Tottenham fan and they will tell you if he is worth £142,000 a week…
Didier Drogba, Shanghai Shenhua (£232,000 per week)
Didier Drogba is a Champions League winning striker and arguably one of Chelsea’s greatest ever frontmen.
We love Drogba, but sadly we can’t begin to fathom how a 34-year old Didier, who’s best years were clearly behind him, warranted such an excessive salary.
Sure his presence improved the reputation of the game in China (during his comically short 11 game stay), but can anyone justify paying that much to an over-the-hill striker?