Contract clause on space travel had footy boss asking ‘is he taking the p***’

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Peter Reid was left baffled during contract negotiations with a key midfield target during his time as Sunderland boss – with Stefan Schwarz open to leaving the planet.

Sunderland entered negations with Valencia and paid a then club record fee of £3.75million for his services – having insisted that the contract would be voided if he left the atmosphere.

One of Schwarz' advisors had got a ticket for a planned commercial flight that was due to leave in 2002, with Sunderland keen to avoid any debate had their player nabbed a seat of his own.

READ MORE: Seven bizarre contract clauses and demands made by players from Samuel Eto'o to Neymar

When hearing about the potential trip to space, Reid was confused to say the least but not overly bothered about blocking the trip – with the club choosing to intervene.

Speaking to 1990s football podcast Quickly Kevin, will he score? Reid recalled of hearing the space plan: "I said… 'you what?' And he said 'well if I can get up on the moon and in space…'.

"I was just thinking… is he taking the p*** here? But I was desperate to sign him so I said yeah go ahead."

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Adding of the former Arsenal and Fiorentina man: "Tell you what though. What a good player. But he tore his Achilles tendon playing for Sweden and it virtually finished him.

"But he was a really good footballer, great character."

Schwarz spent four seasons at the club in total, without leaving the planet – and had nothing but good things to say about his period at the Stadium of Light.

Schwarz recently told FourFourTwo: "Peter Reid and (chairman) Bob Murray did a fantastic job there, and they completely sold me on what the club was trying to achieve.

"It was an easy team to play in, because you knew that Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips were going to score goals – they were easy strikers to serve.

"Niall's technical ability is often overlooked, but he was superb."

Reid took over back in 1995 and led the club to the Premier League as champions, taking them back up after relegation the following season.

Having competed for European qualification in 1999/00 with Kevin Phillips the highest scorer in Europe with 30 goals, they did the same the following season before finishing seventh.

Following a downturn in form during 2001/02 that almost led to relegation, Reid lost his job the following October with a record of 159 wins from 353 matches.


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