August 1, 1950
Liverpool F.C. have to-day added another distinction to their name. They are the first club in the country to hand over to their players the first five years’ full post-war benefits of £750 each.
This is payment “on the nail” with a vengeance, for the money did not become due until midnight last night, when last season’s contracts expired. In common with Everton and several other clubs, Liverpool cleared off their pre-war benefit indebtedness to their older players before post-war football resumed, which meant that everybody on the staff on August 1 1945 at once began to qualify for post-war benefit.
With the completion of last season’s contracts last night players who had been on the books five years became entitled to their benefits. Chairman George Richards and secretary John Charles Rouse got their heads together yesterday during Liverpool’s annual staff picnic to Blackpool and decided that the cheques should be handed over this morning. The amounts and the names of the recipients, of course, had already been confirmed by the board.
Actually, there is no compulsion on any club to pay benefits. The operative word in their contracts, long a bone of contention with the Players’ Union, is that they “may” receive a benefit, not “must”. The amount is also left undecided. Clubs can pay what they wish, or not pay at all if they feel so disposel.
In Liverpool’s case, the board long ago unanimously decided to share its prosperity with the men who had helped to make it by granting maximum benefits to all players with the requisite five years’ service, irrespective of whether the man concerned had been a first-team player throughout the period or not.
The 11 lucky lads who to-day received their cheques were Jack Balmer, Kevin Baron, Cyril Done, Willie Fagan, Laurie Hughes, Bill Jones, Ray Lambert, Bob Paisley, Jimmy Payne, Eddie Spicer and Phil Taylor making a total payment of £8,250.
Unfortunately for them, unlike cricketers, the law allows the income tax collector to take his slice out of it, but even so it is a useful little nest egg to accumulate over the years.
You may notice that Billy Liddell’s name is missing. By special League permission, Billy was allowed to draw his accrued share of benefit some little time ago.
In the case of certain others, such as Baron, Done, Payne and Spicer, the club has granted them full benefit although they have been first-teamers for only a portion of their service. For instance, Kevin Baron has appeared in only 57 senior matches during the past five years, including cup-ties. Done and Spicer have played in 73, and Payne 76.
Liverpool’s staff trip to Blackpool yesterday was the usual happy little outing, in which directors, players, officials and members of the ground staff, and their wives or sweethearts, spent a few hours relaxation, and whereby the younger end of the professional staff were made to feel very much at home and an integral part of the club organisation.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 1, 1950)