Wayne Rooney Stays at Manchester United - but at a Cost!
Blackshaw, Ian, The International Sports Law Journal
A former UK Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, once said that 'a week is a long time in politics'. In football, 48 hours is no time at all! That is how long - or short! - it took for Wayne Rooney to change his mind about leaving the world's most famous and favourite Football Club, Manchester United.
First, the 25 year old striker and English International is leaving the Club; and, then, surprisingly, he is staying. What a spectacular volte-face! But that, I suppose, is the nature of the 'beautiful game'!
First, his manager, Alex Ferguson, is 'dumbfounded' by the news of his departure; and, then, he is 'delighted' that Rooney is staying with the Club after all. They kiss and make up like lovers after a tiff! But, at what cost to football and the Club?
Certainly, despite Rooney's apologies to the Club, the Management, the Owners and - not least - the fans about his disparaging remarks about ManU lacking ambition and his behaviour generally, his own image and that of the Club has been damaged. The 'beautiful game' also, in my view, has been sullied by this episode. Apart from that, there is a financial hit too!
Rooney walks away with a new five-year contract reputedly worth between [pounds sterling]150,000 and [pounds sterling]200,000 a week, apart from bonuses. This, in my view, is obscene, particularly in the light of the UK Government spending cuts and job losses announced at the same time that Rooney was negotiating his new deal. …