Ashley Cole infamously said he almost crashed his car when he learned Arsenal were only going to offer him £60k-a-week so I can’t help wondering what he was thinking when LA Galaxy offered him £5,000pw when his current deal expired.
”I nearly swerved off the road,” Cole said in his autobiography about receiving Arsenal’s contract offer. “’He [Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein] is taking the piss, Jonathan!’ I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn’t believe what I’d heard. I suppose it all started to fall apart for me from then on.”
This had represented more than a 100% increase on Cole’s £27kpw Arsenal wage, but he’d wanted £65k and the rest, as they say, is Chelsea history.
Fast forward 12 years and Cole has now come to the end of his spell with LA Galaxy after he was released when his contract expired.
Now 37, his contract had included an option that would see Cole receive a payrise, but the MLS side weren’t interested in giving him that, although they did want him to stay at the club. Their solution was to offer the defender £5,000 per week.
The best bit? Cole is considering taking it because he likes the lifestyle in LA so much.
To be fair, it wouldn’t represent that much of a drop to the man who once earned £120kpw at Chelsea in the days before that was a standard Premier League salary. He was only earning £10,900pw on his LA Galaxy contract before it expired.
To compare, Wayne Rooney is currently being paid £42kpw at DC United, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic earns £22,500 as one of Cole’s (now former) teammates. The league’s highest-paid player is the Atomic Ant. Sebastian Giovinco, long-linked with Arsenal before he headed Stateside, earns £107kpw.
Unlike many who have left Arsenal in search of greener pastures, Cole certainly found them. He won two league titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal before collecting another league title, four FA Cups, a League Cup, a Champions League and a Europa League thanks to Roman Abramovich’s financial doping.
Rangers are currently being urged to sign Cole who was LA Galaxy’s captain and voted as La Galaxy’s Supporter’s Player of the Season just before he was released. Derby County are also said to be interested.