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Incredible contract clause! Premier League star wanted to go to space



Spaceman Stefan Schwarz in a duel with Liverpool's Dietmar Hamann.

When it comes to football professional contracts, the most important issues are usually their duration or the agreed salary. There are also bonus payments, opt-out clauses or commercial agreements. But a clause that says the player can’t fly into space? That’s rather unusual.

That was the case with Stefan Schwarz more than 20 years ago. In the summer of 1999, the then 30-year-old, who had finished third in the 1994 World Cup with Sweden, switched from Valencia to AFC Sunderland in the Premier League.

The English paid six million euros for the experienced midfielder. A lot of money – and accordingly, Sunderland wanted to make sure that they got as much as possible from the new player. Especially since he expressed a quite unusual wish.

Schwarz wanted to take part in one of the first commercial passenger flights into space, scheduled for launch in 2002. And those around the 68-time Swedish international apparently shared this interest.

Sunderland insisted on a curious clause in the contract

“In fact, one of Schwarz’s advisers had already secured a seat on one of those commercial passenger flights,” said John Fickling, then Sunderland CEO BBC Radio 5 Live. “We were concerned that he might take Stefan with him.”

Sunderland therefore insisted on a clause for the agreed four-year contract that prohibits Schwarz from traveling into space. Should he nonetheless accept one, it would invalidate the contract. “We thought it would be better to tie that up straight away than to wait until flight time,” explained Fickling.

So Schwarz had to give up the dream of a second career as an astronaut and a flight into space for the time being. After all, the Black Cats fans gave him the nickname The Spaceman – and sporty things went well for him in Sunderland for a long time.

Stefan Schwarz stayed in Sunderland for four years

In his first season, the then promoted team finished seventh with black as a top performer in midfield, repeating this placement in the following season.

In total, Black was to play 73 competitive games for Sunderland, in which he scored three goals. He even ended his career with the traditional English club in 2003 at the age of 34 – unfortunately with relegation from the Premier League as a farewell. And yet the fans of the Black Cats will certainly never forget the Swede. Because of his performances on the lawn. But also because of its exceptional contract clause.