Mario Balotelli would have received a £1 million bonus from Liverpool at the end of each season if he controlled his behaviour – including managing not to “spit on” anyone.
The bizarre clause was written into the Italian’s contract when he joined Liverpool from AC Milan in 2014.
At the time Brendan Rodgers admitted, albeit in jest, that the striker would add “trouble” to his squad.
Balotelli would go on to become a flop during his spell at Liverpool before leaving for Ligue 1 side Nice in the summer to rediscover his form – but his big-money bonus from not spitting has only come to light this week.
While players do often have specific clauses included in their contracts, it’s normally to try and prevent them from getting injured – so they won’t be allowed motorbikes or skis.
But the former Red’s deal at Anfield bizarrely attempted to safeguard against him spitting on another player.
The details were released by website Football Leaks via The Times.
The behavioural clauses in full:
1) The club insists that the player [must] behave in a manner appropriate to Liverpool.
2) During every single season in his contract time he (Mario Ballotelli) is not allowed to get more than three red cards.
3) The player may not spit on an opponent or any other person.
4) The player is not allowed to attack anyone physically, verbally or with gestures.
If all the rules are followed until June 30th of the corresponding season, then the striker would receive an extra €1.2 million to his €6 million yearly salary.
After a disappointing first season at Anfield, where he scored just one Premier League goal, he spent another year on loan at AC Milan before joining Nice in the summer.