Often Partisan


What a difference forty eight hours makes. A friend of mine on twitter, @chrisquinn3 wrote this piece where he eruditely explained Rooney was right to say he wanted to leave Manchester United, due to the lack of ambition that the Red Devils currently have. I commented at the time that if it really wasn’t about money, he’d hand in a transfer request.

Fast forward to now, and Wayne Rooney has signed a new five year deal with the club. According to the official statement here, the owners and Sir Alex Ferguson have convinced him that he belongs to Manchester United and he should stay. Interestingly, nothing yet has come out about improved wages.

I may be a complete cynic, but for me this was always about the Benjamins. I think Rooney knew he had the club in a tight spot; he’s pretty much their most saleable asset, and he knows that the fans aren’t happy about the way the Glazers have run the club. By claiming that the club lacks ambition, I think Rooney was hoping to keep the fans onside whilst screwing Manchester United for as much cash as he could. Unfortunately, it’s backfired on him in some ways; fans were protesting outside his house yesterday and he’s been roundly criticised in the media.

I think the Glazers also must have realised that they had too much to lose. Rooney had only 18 months left on his deal, which would have affected his value greatly. The fact Rooney would have also been ineligble for any European games for any other club this season would have dropped his price too; I think they’d have been lucky to get a quarter of the £80million they recieved for Cristiano Ronaldo for Rooney in January. Whilst Rooney has signed a new five year deal, I will not be surprised in the slightest if Rooney departs Manchester United in the summer – probably for a figure around the £40-50million mark.

Whilst I’m glad that the circus surrounding Rooney will probably be over for a while now, I think it just shows you how far player power has come and how much it’s ruining the game. I watched Ian Holloway’s press conference this morning, and I agree with his passionate speech about the way the Bosman ruling has crippled the game. The sad thing is I don’t think it can be fixed; all I can do is hope that my team (Birmingham City) continues to play as high a standard of football that they can and I can continue to watch it and enjoy it.

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