Dwayne De Rosario is TFC’s leader and best player. He’s an all-time MLS great. Yesterday he scored TFC’s 1st goal to cut San Jose’s lead to 2-1 in an eventual 3-2 loss that all but put TFC out of the playoffs. Following his goal, DeRo celebrated by pretending to sign a cheque, which apparently means he wants MLSE to re-negotiate his contract and pay him more money.
The CBC report on this topic is here:
What is clear is that DeRo is very confused. He has little or no understanding of how the salary structure in the MLS works or the concept of supply and demand. He also has no appreciation of his value in the world soccer market nor unfortunately does he have an understanding what is an appropriate way for a captain to behave.
The first, and perhaps most important thing that DeRo needs to understand is that whether JDG and Mista are underperforming is irrelevant when it comes to his salary. What DeRo seems to be doing is comparing his value and salary to the value/salaries of two underperforming players; not to the rest of the players in MLS and the rest of the players on the planet.
Designated Players like Henry, Beckham, Marquez, JDG or Mista have market values that are established based on proven abilities at the highest levels and what salary they could otherwise demand on the open market. For MLS to lure them here, they have to pay them the big bucks. Life MLS players, who are not sought out by top clubs around the world, will not be paid more than $450,000.00. DeRo is about at the top of the pay scale for career MLS players. Though one could point out Langdon Donavon is paid more, Donavon , if he was not playing for the Galaxy, could crack the Premiership and did so successfully last year on loan for Everton.
To be clear what we are talking about here, DeRo is currently unsatisfied with his $443,750 USD salary. JDG is paid $1,717,546 and Mista $987,337. At the other end of the scale, stand out defenders Attakora and Cann earn $40,000 and about $50,000 respectively.
Both Mista and JDG have not played up to expectations. What this means is MLSE are over paying and these players’ market values have dropped. This does not mean that DeRo should get a raise. What it means is Mista’s contract will not be renewed. JDG’s will probably also not be renewed unless he is going to take a substantial pay decrease. DeRo is not part of this equation, even though he thinks he is.
When DeRo agreed on his current contract, presumably it was negotiated and agreed by himself, with the assistance of an agent. If he was worth more he ought to have demanded a higher salary. The simple fact of the matter is that DeRo is now in the twilight of his career and is earning more now than he did when he was in his prime, in Houston. If DeRo was not playing with TFC, does he seriously believe he could go to Europe and get paid 2 million? The truth is he couldn’t crack the line up of a top 5 European league.
DeRo now thinks that he has outplayed expectations. Does this mean when he reaches ages 33, 34, 35, etc. and his abilities decline, that he will offer a salary reduction? In 3 years from now, when he is subbed off at the 60th minute because he’s too tired, will he do a pen signing paper motion indicating he’s prepared to cancel his contract and take less money?
What is even more concerning is that DeRo is the TFC captain/leader and he’s airing his private contractual dispute in public. Unfortunately, this is not a fictional movie starring a eccentric athlete who wants a pay raise (I already got suckered into that when I saw Jerry McGuire in the movie theatre with my buddy, thinking it was a sports movie and not a quasi chick flick). If the players follow their leader, should we expect next game to see Attakora ($40,000) and Cann ($50,000) making cheque signing moves on the pitch and publicly complaining to the press and fans?
Let’s hope that the rest of the TFC squad have a better understanding of how salaries work. If they don’t, let’s hope they have a better understanding of what it means to be a professional and do not air their dirty laundry in public.