How Effective Is The “He’s Not For Sale” Line? Arsenal v Liverpool

With Liverpool owner John W. Henry stating that frontman Luis Suarez is not for sale at any price, to Arsenal or any other club, I got a strange sense of déjà vu brewing and it could be a false sense of security for Liverpool fans.

With similar declarations about Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, it seems there is a huge influx of players who are not for sale at any price. As an Arsenal fan, this resonated with me hugely. After all, it was only the summer of 2012 where Arsenal chairman Peter Hill-Wood, which then started a media circus and the very next day, our Dutch talisman at the time stated that he will not be extending his expiring contract at Arsenal and a month later he left for Manchester. Yep, doesn’t hurt at all, Liverpool fans. Although, Liverpool fans should know the same feeling of betrayal, especially when back in 2010. John W. Henry published a press release on the Liverpool website saying that they have no intention of selling Fernando Torres, three days later he was on his way to Chelsea for a record British transfer fee of £50 million – Do you feel as confident as you did a couple of days ago, Liverpool fans?

This isn’t just an English Premier League phenomena, though. In May 2012, Milan chairman Massimo Allegri held an interview with AC Milan TV and word for word said “The club and the president are keen to maintain AC Milan at a high level. Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva will remain here.”

Obviously, Milan fans would feel aggravated if they lost the best centre-back in the world, and probably the best centre-forward alongside Falcao in Zlatan. They would need reassurance of them staying, otherwise face losing their two best players, but in July of last year they were both transferred to PSG in Ligue 1. Unfortunately, football is littered with cases like this, so the words that Henry has spoken aren’t gospel – he still may leave. Not every player does leave when the infamous “He’s not for sale” line is spewed, but he’s not guaranteed to stay.