A big week in football...
For Wayne Rooney and his advisors to claim that Manchester United football club is not ambitious is a scandalous smoke screen. This is the straw that has broken the camel’s back. The last time I looked at the badge he used to kiss so often it didn’t say Waynechester United on it. 30 trophies in nearly as many years under Sir Alex Ferguson say all you’ll need to know about ambition. A more likely explanation is that the comfort seeking in his personal life seem replicated in his professional life as well. Of course I feel betrayed; of course I am angry and disappointed – because it didn’t have to be this way. Many of you will say “It’s only a game. He’s only a worker like anyone else and he has the right to do what he wants to do”. And that may be so but football is one of those things in life that demands more. We who follow it have made it personal, they who play it, they who kiss the badges on their shirts, who determine the mood of the rest of us, have entered into a pact that rightly or wrongly takes things to a different level. But let’s put that aside and talk about the wider message in all of this.
Wayne Rooney may become as rich as Croesus but has he no-one close to him who will explain that in doing so, he will become bankrupt of respect and integrity?
He earns £90,000 a week at the moment from Manchester United excluding sponsorship deals. That’s expected to be increased to £200,000 or nearly £10 million a year. He and his management team know that he could get more at Manchester City or another big premiership club. But it’s not just about the money; it’s about the particular club prepared to offer it to him. To go to Manchester City at this time would be a taboo relationship. Without boring you with the details, to United supporters it represents a repugnant sin. The look, tone and words of Sir Alex Ferguson during his news conference this week said it all. He was like a parent who had tried everything possible with a wayward son – a son who he had cared for, nurtured, looked after, and it was a son who was showing no thanks, no gratitude in return. This may have been expected by a fly by night, here today gone tomorrow foreign import of a player but not homegrown Roo. But I say that from a fan’s perspective and fans are often blind to imperfections. Wayne Rooney hasn’t got the best of reputations, hasn’t had the best of years, but he had a marvellous chance to be rehabilitated by the football community and his Club under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. So far this year he has allegedly betrayed his wife and his talent. Why didn’t he just put his head down and take advantage of the concern there was for him? As Gloria Gaynor says in the song “Go on now go – walk out the door – don’t turn around now ‘cos you’re not welcome anymore!”
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