Understanding the Dybala affair

By Adrian Manole, 23 March 2022

The news that Juventus will not extend Dybala contract has left many of us wondering what on earth went so wrong, that one the most emblematic and technically gifted players had to be shown the back door? After all we became accustomed to extending contracts and overpaying for soooo many useless and overrated chaps, that not extending the contract of someone who scored more goals than Platini seemed absurd. But it happened. And there are reasons behind it that we should be well aware of.

1. No more contract bullying

Dybala`s contractual dispute has been ongoing since 2020 or even 2019. It wasn`t really a 10 seconds mexican standoff decided by last week`s Arrivabene`s cold blooded words. Around 2020 Dybala was offered a contract that, according to Agnelli, would have put Dybala in the top 20 earners list worldwide. Not bad, considering the Covid outbreak. Agnelli stated at the time:

“We see Dybala as a captain yesterday, today and tomorrow. He has received an offer that would make him one of the 20 highest paid footballers in Europe, and that’s a great base. He has an offer and we await his response. But we also want to see his proposal on the field. He wants to become one of the five best players in the world, and we’ll support him, but he’s not at that level today and he knows it.”

Dybala declined the offer, asking for more. However his performances did not improve. Alongside declining the offer, Paulo declined moves to Manchester United in a swap deal with Lukaku and to Tottenham. The transfers would have meant huge profit margins for Juventus. Basically, Dybala blackmailed Juventus into offering him a higher contract. It did not go down well with the Juventus management, especially as his injuries kept on occurring.

2. No more agent bullying

Over the last couple of years, his nameless agent has become a regular at the Turin Airport. His flights to Turin as well his canceled meetings with the Juventus board became usual background stories. It was pretty obvious that the Juventus hierarchy did not particularly like Mr. Antun. Whether it was because his requested 10m commission, whether it was because the guy lacked the needed papers to legally represent Dybala, we do not know. But one thing is certain, Paulo paid dearly for sticking to his agent. Last december, Arrivabene said: ”Some are more attached to their agent than to the shirt”.

If only Dybala had a different agent… Should have hired Khedira’s agent.

3. Performance vs Wages ratios

For the first time in years, we seem to be interested in the performance vs wages ratio. The club was severely disbalanced with ridiculous wages and commissions. Without the capital injections, we would be somewhere near bankruptcy.

We are no longer willing to pay high wages to players who simply do not deliver. And Paulo has not delivered to the standards of his requested wages in a very long time. Yes we remember his Barcelona and Tottenham heroics. Yes we remember some fine goals in CL group stages. Yes we remember some fine displays in Serie A. Afterall he scored 113 goals. But, unfortunately, he was too inconsistent over the course of the last four years to truly make an impact.

It was no longer economically feasible to rely on Dybala as he could no longer guarantee the impact we needed (30 goals per season), in order to challenge for CL and Serie A glory. If Dybala was really the player he pretends to be, we would have never signed Vlahovic.

Good Luck Paulo!