Top 10/50/100

Football's 10 weirdest contract clauses (ft. sheep's nuts and space travel)

It was revealed over the weekend that Mario Balotelli would have pocketed an extra £1 million per season at Liverpool if he'd avoided being sent off for violent conduct three times in a campaign. Richard Edwards uncovers more contractual oddities 

We are part of The Trust Project What is it?

10. Spencer Prior, Cardiff City  

Sam Hammam loved a contract, so he must have had a glint in his eye when Prior put pen to paper in 2001. According to the deal, Prior had to have “a physical liaison with a sheep and eat sheep’s testicles” during his Ninian Park stay. The ever-reasonable Hammam did make some concessions of his own, though. “Of course, he can have lemon, salt and parsley with the dish,” he said. Cheers. 

9. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid

He cost Madrid a cool £80m (S$145m), and after setting the Bernabeu ablaze they’re clearly never going to be keen on letting him go. According to Madrid’s Marca newspaper, bidding for any potential Ronaldo buyer would have to begin at €1bn. Looks like he’s going nowhere in a hurry, then. 

8. Stig Inge Bjornebye, Liverpool 

Liverpool were on a slippery slope when the Dane arrived on Merseyside in 1992, but Bjornebye couldn’t take advantage. There was a clause inserted into his contract strictly forbidding him from taking part in any on-piste activity, which put the kibosh on him emulating his father’s feats as a ski-jumper. 
Getting tackled wasn't banned in Bjornebye's contract

7. Stefan Schwarz, Sunderland 

You know the scenario. You sit down with a player to discuss demands and ask if there’s anything they really fancy doing during their time at the club. What was that Stefan? Space travel? Erm, I don’t think so. “At the end of the day we are protecting the club really,” said Sunderland chief executive John Fickling, before adding with a straight face: “One day it could become be quite acceptable to put such clauses in various contracts.”

According to the deal, Prior had to have 'a physical liaison with a sheep and eat sheep’s testicles' during his Ninian Park stay

6. David Villa, Barcelona 

The Barcelona striker became the first player in history to have an anti-racism clause included in his contract when he arrived at the Nou Camp from Valencia in 2010 – setting a trend that looks set to take off. “It is the first time that a contract has been signed with an anti-racism clause included, as introduced by the European Club Association. From now on we will include it in all new contracts,” said Barca president Joan Laporta. 
"I want a handball clause too - cool?"