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Joey Barton Paid £675,000 A Year For Image Rights When At Newcastle United

7 years ago
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I was aware of football players having ‘image rights’ as part of their contracts these days but didn’t really understand how far restrictions could go.

Yes I knew that contacts for players took a lot longer to sort due to the image rights element, especially the likes of Messi, Beckham & Ronaldo, but the full picture is a bit full on.

I noticed an interesting piece by John Spyrou who is head of Internet, Media and Sports Law at London law firm Pinder Reaux & Associates, and who writes on the legal & business perspective of football for website twentyfour7Football.

He talks about the new Man.U. kit having a retro look and being similar to that worn in Eric Cantona’s ere at Old Trafford, hence fans have been turning up at club shops asking for Cantona on the back.

The answer to supporters has been no!

This is due to Manchester United not owning the image rights to the name ‘Cantona’, and this would be the same of they asked for Ronaldo, Beckham or whoever.

The refusal to print those names on the back of shirts shows the value of image rights for top players and also the fear clubs have of legal action if they did print the names without authority.

Image rights are totally separate to the normal wages and bonuses paid to players and are basically the value of the player’s personal name.

In his excellent piece, John Spyrou recalls that it was discovered in 2009, Joey Barton was paid £675,000 a year for the use of his image rights by Newcastle United.

I’d be interested to find out if any of you have asked to get ‘Shearer’ or similar on NUFC shirts at Newcastle United club shops?

Quite ironic that Joey Barton ended up having a significant impact on Newcastle United’s ‘image’ when he was at St.James’ Park and paying Barton £675,000 for the privilege of using his name might not have been the best deal ever done at our club.

Read the full interesting article by John Spyrou here.

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