There is a myth, very likely to be a well founded one, that football players move to England for financial reasons.

With all the money now being pumped into the Premier League, which then trickles down to the Championship with relegated teams and parachute payments, even a move to Aston Villa or Newcastle becomes an attractive proposition for some foreign players who could also play in a top league elsewhere.

When Henri Saivet moved from Bordeaux (where he was captain) to St James’ Park last January, many thought a better wage was one of the main reasons for the transfer, including France Football, who interviewed the new Saint-Etienne player (on loan) for their weekly magazine.


However, the midfielder was quick to dispel thee rumours.

He said: “It makes me laugh… The contract I had at Bordeaux was more complete than the one I had at Newcastle, with more bonuses on games played and European qualifications. So, yeah….

“I heard the comments coming from pundits who then left to other networks or other radio stations. They didn’t do that for free, but it’s only human. It’s worth pointing out I preferred the contract I had at Bordeaux”

The player didn’t really get to play much at Newcastle, and a summer move away from the north of England looked likely as a handful of French teams declared an interest in his services.

Marseille were first, but Saint-Etienne were in Europe.