The Injury Index

Wednesday, 31 March, 2021 23comments  |  Jump to last
A news report that caught the eye claimed Everton have racked up £50m in lost wages over the last 5 seasons due to injuries to their players.

Such a number is hard to grasp in isolation, and visiting the website for The Injury Index doesn't really help. The site provides tables of data on days lost to injury, number of games missed, and wages 'lost' as a consequence of those injuries, categorized by team, by player and by type of injury.

But what does it mean to have 'lost' wages? These are wages that are not lost in any meaningful sense. The wages are paid to players, week-in & week-out, whether they are injured or not. All the money ends up in the bank accounts of the rich and perhaps no-so-famous footballers, irrespective of their match fitness or performance.

While the number quoted seems staggering, it turns out that Everton are solidly mid-table, whichever way you cut it. Jean-Philippe Gbamin doesn't even make the players table for the current season, which cuts off below the top 40 at wages lost in excess of £750k.

This must be a mistake as Gbamin lists in the three-season table (he's only been with us two seasons) as missing 74 games (36 + 28 = 64?) at a total 'loss' of £4,717,142.86.

The Injury Index lists Everton as having 80 games missed in the Premier League so far this season; by my reckoning, tracking this on a game-by-game basis, the number should be 123 (150 overall, including cup games).  

Reader Comments (23)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 31/03/2021 at 14:05:57
I've not read the article, Michael, but wouldn't the wages of players unavailable through injury be lessened by the wages of their replacements who may not have got a game otherwise?
Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 31/03/2021 at 14:24:11
Hi Alan,

I was thinking from the perspective of the club's coffers. Since the squads are effectively locked in twice a season (at the end of each transfer window), any replacements for injury are almost always already on the books, and therfore already on the payroll. So no direct financial 'loss' due to an injury.

I'm not sure what you mean by the wages of the injured players being lessened by the wages of their replacements? Unless you are aware of a rather Draconian contract clause inserted that says, roughly speaking, "If you are injured, your wages for games that you miss shall be reduced by the amount of wages paid to the player replacing you."

It'd never fly! But we should check with Jerome. He knows about this sort of stuff, I think.

Kieran Kinsella
3 Posted 31/03/2021 at 14:24:24
Don't clubs get some kind of insurance coverage for longer term absentees?
Geoff Trenner
4 Posted 31/03/2021 at 14:30:00
Put them on SSP!
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 31/03/2021 at 14:35:01
We never seem to hear much about injury insurance, Kieran. I wouldn't have a clue. Must be a threshold as you say for when it kicks in.

But that would actually make the injury a financial benefit to the club, not a loss!

Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 31/03/2021 at 16:06:11
Michael (5) “ But that would actually make the injury a financial benefit to the club, not a loss” Michael does that mean some players, like Delph, Gbamin etc would be entitled to a bonus? Just asking for an agent I know.
Michael Kenrick
7 Posted 31/03/2021 at 16:11:53
What are you up to, Dave? Trying to get a new gig for your Tony? I know we love nostalgia but Brands ain't gonna buy it.
Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:11:32
I must be pretty dense, but the entire concept of "lost wages" makes no sense to me.

The players get paid whether they play or not, right?

If you have a 25-man squad, every minute of every game you have 14 players being paid for not playing, whether the reason is injury or manager's decision or they just forgot their shinguards.

If an injured player is being paid for not playing, it means another player who would normally be paid for not playing is being paid for actually playing in place of the injured player who is being paid for not playing, so you still have 11 players at any one game moment being paid for playing and 14 being paid for not playing. (Unless Schneiderlin is on the pitch, in which case the numbers are 10 and 15.) Are you following me on this?

And outside of that 90 minutes, you have all 25 players being paid for not playing, whether they are practicing or rehabbing or eating or in bed with their girlfriends or driving a Lamborghini 102 miles an hour with no license. Or whatever.

I am now going to sit quietly and suck my thumb.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:15:13
Michael (7), I’ve fixed Tony up with a nice little earner, he’s starting at a top school in Crosby after the Easter holidays, teaching English Language!!
Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:17:15
Dave, please post a video of Tony teaching English Language. Just a short clip. I promise you it will go viral.
Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:22:00
Mike (10), As soon as Tony gets his feet under the table at this school I will send you a clip, in technicolour, that’s if the headmaster doesn’t get his boot under Tony’s arse, after the first lesson and kicks him back to Walton!!
Jay Harris
12 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:24:05
It would be more lucrative running a "Teach yourself Scouse" course here in Florida.

Ive currently got them all Gobsmacked about chinwagging.

Jay Harris
13 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:26:43
On the subject of the original post I always understood the insurance was to pay a players contract off if his carreer was finished by injury?

Also on the injury front I see Godfrey and Davies are injured now after playing for the U21s.

Ian Bennett
14 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:34:59
That's how I understand Jay.

If they're injured on international duty, then the federations step in supposedly. However for the minnow nations that could be a huge expense - Bale? George Weah type etc?

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 31/03/2021 at 17:48:47
Jay there was writer in the fifties, Frank Shaw, who wrote a book about speaking Scouse, he also wrote in The Echo now and again, he did a column once on Liverpudlisms, the way Scousers would speak, one I remembered was the woman who was complaining to the Council about rats in the house she said to the clerk in the office “ The house is alive with dead rats”
Alan J Thompson
16 Posted 31/03/2021 at 18:29:34
Michael(#2); Mike#8 sums up what I was trying to say, if you are dividing players into those that play and those that don't then the total wage figure of those playing changes when somebody is out injured and replaced by somebody on a different salary. And vice versa with the injury list.
Dale Self
17 Posted 31/03/2021 at 18:45:50
Alright so Bonusfinder did at least list the wage loss as 'total wage loss' so they are not claiming to account for substitute/squad related adjustments. Ultimately, I think Mike is getting to the proper outline of the true costs which would be based on some sort of option value for players selected for the game sheet. All of that would require some cost adjustments that are dependent on value differences between players injured and their supposed replacements for that game, which is itself sketchy.
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 31/03/2021 at 22:13:09
Just make sure that Michael isn’t the bloody headmaster Dave!
Jerome Shields
19 Posted 12/04/2021 at 07:57:04

Lost wages is a real unknown to me. With the money players are on I can't see there not being some type insurance cover by the Club or Player. Another factor could be the Club and Players legal view on anything that affects valuations.

I do think there has been a miscalculation as your figures have pointed out. The compilers of 'The Injury Index ' are not use to or expect the scrutiny you apply, which posters on ToffeeWeb are familiar with. Lucky for them they don't have a public forum you can get on to. They possibly might have to close up shop.

In the future I will now view 'The Injury Index ' with scepticism, with tongue in cheek.

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 12/04/2021 at 08:13:29
Looks like more lost wages on Tosun, who looks like he will definitely still be here next season now, after suffering another knee injury
Jerome Shields
21 Posted 12/04/2021 at 08:29:29
Tony, Tosun is just a cost full stop. Do hope he has a speedy recovery, though he has been on well paid semi retirement for a while.

Everton did take risks regarding injuries in the transfer market, because the actions of those that did Manage the Club. They did compromise their effectiveness in securing the players they required.

Thomas Richards
22 Posted 12/04/2021 at 08:40:11
Will the insurance cover Tosuns wages?
Robert Tressell
23 Posted 12/04/2021 at 09:07:24
Initially I agreed with Kieran, there will almost certainly be insurance in place for this.

However, given the size of the wages and high risk of injury (and therefore claim on insurance) I wonder whether there are such policies. £50m is a big aggregate claim. You hear more about players claiming if they are forced to retire through injury.

Anyway, like Mike says, the wages are not lost as such as we would be committed to paying them anyway. The real lost wages are on players like Tosun and Bolasie and, dare I say it, Iwobi who shouldn't have been bought in the first place.

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