In 2011, AC Milan elected to adopt a new policy in which players over the age of thirty would not be offered extended contracts. The following year, stars such as Clarence Seedorf, Mark van Bommel, Alessandro Nesta and Filippo Inzaghi all left the club. By 2014 Milan, who’d won the scudetto in 2010, were unable to qualify for even the Europa League, finishing 8th in Serie A.

One of the first to exit was Andrea Pirlo, who’d been with the rossoneri since 2001. He’d made 284 appearances for the club, helping them to two league titles and two Champions League trophies. But they let him go to Juventus on a free transfer. Since joining the Old Lady, Pirlo has amassed three more Serie A titles, with the club hoisting the trophy for the past three consecutive seasons.

Moral of the story? Think very, very hard before implementing a blanket policy on contract extensions for your club.