If Newcastle United striker Michael Owen, who is fast approaching the conclusion of his current Magpies contract, is clubless the month following his departure, then the Tyneside club will be liable to pay the player a further £500,000 while he continues his quest for employment. This figure is, however, a mere fraction of the total cost of the player to the side.
A report in The People claims that Newcastle, a club put on the market by current owner Mike Ashley for £90 million, have spent an estimated £45m - half of the club's value - on keeping Owen at St. James' Park.
The sum includes the player's wages and also transfer fee involved in bringing the England international to the club from Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid. He scored 30 goals during his four seasons at the club.
The newspaper report also indicated that Owen's £108,000-per-week deal will continue for a month after release should he still be without a club on August 1, due to an embedded clause.
Owen's four year deal expires on Tuesday, June 30. Hull City and Stoke City are the only two clubs thus far to express a serious interest in the 29-year-old.