Aidy Ward has had his clients perform interviews unauthorised by their clubs before…
The Liverpool Echo have today offered us an intriguing insight into the world of Raheem Sterling, with an in-depth feature profiling the 20-year-old’s under-fire agent Aidy Ward, who’s demanding a ridiculous new deal for his client.
Ward, 34, is believed to have arranged Sterling’s unauthorised interview with the BBC, which saw the England international reject speculation that he’s ‘money grabbing’ with his latest contract demands.
So what have the Echo uncovered?
For one, he also represents Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and West Brom’s Saido Berahino. He’s clearly very good at his job and securing his client the best possible deal, while he’s also very close with Sterling – who tweeted him a ‘Happy Birthday’ message last year.
Meanwhile, back in January 2013, Sterling ominously told the Mirror: “Aidy is getting into my head to do more – do more on the pitch – and also how to behave off it.”
How do we see it?
The biggest fear for Liverpool fans will be just how much influence Aidy Ward has over a player still in his infancy in professional football. The pair have already turned down a six-figure wage offer to remain at Anfield beyond the summer of 2017 – a clearly calculated gamble to either force our club’s hands or another’s – and are chasing around £150,000-per-week according to the Telegraph.
We’ve debated long and hard over whether Sterling deserves to essentially quadruple his wages. This is a player who is undoubtedly one of the finest young stars on the planet, but he has let us down with his recent behaviour.
Berahino, pictured with Ward above, did a similar interview last year, when he was thought to be after a move away from the Hawthorns – an act that angered his employers and briefly saw him left out of the team.
Sterling ideally needs a similar reality check – it needs to be underlined that he is not bigger than the club, and no one is. His importance to our side makes this difficult – it’s hard to see him being dropped against Arsenal despite the breach of discipline – but Brendan Rodgers needs to put his foot down behind the scenes.
It’s easy to bemoan the role Ward has played in the uncomfortably public thrashing out of Sterling’s potential new deal, but it’s also easy to lose sight of the fact that this is a man simply doing the job he’s paid to do.
But if he really does have Sterling’s best interests at heart – as he surely will believe he does – then he will take a step back, and ensure that the public furore surrounding Sterling dies down long enough for him to think clearly.