By Graham Hill
JACK Grealish has reportedly moved into the £100,000 a week pay bracket at Villa Park – and who would begrudge him that?
The Mirror say that the Villa skipper has had a huge pay rise since leading the team to promotion last season.
And it is doubtful that any Villa fan would complain about that after what Grealish has done since returning to the side after injury last March.
A year ago, Grealish was told he would not be allowed to join Tottenham after Villa’s dire financial situation looked like they would be forced to sell their star man – and on the cheap too.
But the arrival of new owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris saw them tell Grealish he would not be leaving after all.
It probably did not go down well with Grealish. But his attitude in the final quarter of last season was incredible as he led Villa from a position of apparent mid-table mediocrity to the Championship Play-off Final.
Of course, it was not all down to Grealish – plenty of other players produced outstanding displays as Villa built up the sort of momentum that sees teams sneak into the top six when it matter most.
And Grealish’s contract had an obvious incentive attached to it – a bumper pay rise as a reward for winning promotion and a stiputation that he would be allowed to move if Vila were still in the Championship.
But Grealish always wanted to play for Villa in the top flight again and now he will be.
His salary? That is commonplace for well funded teams who want to reward their star men – particularly if the owners’ pockets are deep.
Just take a look across the Midlands at Leicester City whose players were handed huge pay rises after winning the Premier League title. Okay, that’s a bit different to earning promotion.
But if Villa mean business then these are the sort of wages they need to pay if they want to build on last season’s success. It is the football world we live in, prices and salaries have been inflated hugely for the top players, and Villa look to be keeping pace.