When Hugo Lloris left Tottenham Hotspur to sign with MLS side Los Angeles FC, he still had six months left on his Spurs contract. While no financials were given or released officially by the club, the supposition was that Spurs either forgave or bought out the rest of his deal so that he was free to make a free transfer signing with LAFC.
Now, the Mail has dropped some additional details. Sami Mokbel writes that Spurs gave Hugo was was described as a “generous buyout” of his contract in the amount of £2m, which was the majority of what was left on his £100k/wk wages. Do the math and that means Spurs likely owed Hugo about £2.4m, and the deal saves Spurs about a month’s worth of wages. This being the Mail, the article leans into the “£2m golden handshake” angle as opposed to a business decision that really was acceptable to both sides.
Now, I don’t have much of a context around what this means. One assumes that buyouts of this nature are standard practice in professional football, especially for players with expiring contracts and who are hoping to leave the club ahead of time. What I don’t know is whether offering an 83% buyout is indeed overly generous, or par for the course (or even what par would be if not). The Carty Free masthead calculated that Hugo’s expected salary at LAFC, which is significantly lower than what he made at Spurs, would make up about 80% of the difference between Spurs paying him 100% of his contract and the deal. So when all said and done he’s not taking that much of a haircut here, at least not initially. (Incidentally, we also wondered whether the £100k/wk figure, lower than what we thought, is post- or pre-tax.)
I’d like to think that this is indeed generous by Daniel Levy, and one way that he and the club could express some appreciation for Hugo’s decade of service to Tottenham Hotspur. But maybe it was Hugo also saying “Hey, I’ll just see out my contract until summer unless you let me go, and I’ll accept an X% buyout.” That scenario wouldn’t in my mind make me think less of Hugo — it’s part of the business, and all parties at least outwardly seemed happy with the arrangement.
This isn’t anything super noteworthy (it’s a slow news day), but I do find it interesting on an intellectual level. The end result doesn’t really change much — Spurs were able to let a player who wasn’t getting any game time an exit plan and save a little money in the process. And we get a little insight into how the sausage gets made.