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Lampard extends; more questions than answers

The episode has shown the top hierarchy in a clumsy light and left a bitter taste when there should have been none.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

So, it’s dawned upon us that Lampard-City deal was not a loan but a "season long contract" with a "break clause" to end his stay on 31st December.

Contractually, Lampard never was a NYCFC player then, at least not yet which does open up a number of questions. How, the freaking hell was he unveiled as a NYCFC player? And how does a club, NYCFC, sell shirts of a player they don’t yet own, with the potential for a change like this to happen? And was MCFC within its rights to inaccurately communicate (or not refute the idea) that Lampard was a loan deal?

While selling those season tickets and shirts printed with Lampard name - did NYCFC ever care to communicate that Lampard will join but that the date is effectively at the discretion of the parent club?

Ah, the "break clause" made it certain that Lampard joins NYCFC in January. Did it work? Wasn’t it rescinded? Just another example of a contractual flaw which can be exploited will be exploited.

And this is what even the manager believed,

Manuel Pellegrini "He (Lampard) has a loan until end of December"

And this is what Lampard himself perceived about his complex contract.

I know I said I'd never play for another Premier League club and I never thought I would.

I left Chelsea and my feeling was to go to play abroad. So I signed for New York - which is a great chance for me - entirely in good faith.

I know people say it was a set-up situation for me then to go to City. It wasn't. The only thing I hadn't worked out was how to stay fit before starting in the States.

But then City approached me to train, play and be part of the squad. It just made complete sense.

If I'd had five months off at 36, I don't know what state I would have been in to play.

So while Lampard’s contract was structured in a particular way (God knows why) it was well understood by all parties that it was actually a loan deal!!!

Given this, all concerned at NYCFC (management, players and fans alike) have plenty of reasons to be utterly disappointed.

Lampard will miss just two months of the MLS season. Yes, let Yaya Toure miss two months of season and gauge the impact. Contractually, City are within their rights to keep Lampard. But the loan impression, the whole series of events, the way it was communicated and the way it was managed - City, NYCFC, CFG and Ferran Soriano have shown a trait to create problems out of opportunities. There was no easy way out of it and it has shown the top hierarchy in embarrassing fashion and left a bitter taste when there should have been none.

Football is getting more and more corporatised and letting Lampard stay at City by overruling the impressions created by City and NYCFC themselves is a copy book example of a typical corporate mentality on any poor step/decision/false promise (or product/service) – eventually people and the fans will forget and the negative publicity will be just a minor bump on a very long road.