All Your Wayne Rooney Are Belong To Us

Ugly, yet effective

Yeah yeah, this is an article inspired by Wayne Rooney and you are on a Barcelona Football Blog… get over it. So Rooney gets pissed because the guys at Manchester United are stringing him along for a contract renewal, even though he is one of the better strikers in the world and played hurt for 4 months trying to will MUFC and England to titles. So he got pissed, said he wanted out and created a huge media firestorm surrounding his supposed flight from Old Trafford to Chelsea, Madrid, Barcelona, Man City, or the most likely destination of all: NY Red Bulls. Predictably then, the media backlash turns on Rooney because he’s not “loyal” to his team and is a “traitor” and all that heavy-handed moralizing that really does not fit in the place of modern business contracts. Especially in club football, where your side dumps you for a Euro and a 40. Probably even more predictably, Rooney today re-signed on a new 5-year deal with the Red Devils and the world is finally back to rotating around the sun on it’s proper axis. But what can we learn from this saga about how we should react to players, clubs, and the news that comes about?

Let us do away with any pretense at the start: clubs are businesses, used to make money and market players, brands, and ideas. This is not your family, or your closest friend, or some medieval clan protecting against all comers. So long as we all understand that, we will be fine.

In the wake of all this we have the typical mountain slide of idiotic journalistic vitriol being thrown by the English (and other places) press at Rooney. Speaking of how he had “cynical and disloyal posturing” Oh woe is Manchester United! Those poor, pitiful multimillionaires wandering around aimlessly attempting to hand Wayne Rooney money and hookers on a silver platter while he eschews their advances in favor of the lofty glances of… East Manchester? What an epic asshole that Rooney is for wanting assurances on his future when he could be severely injured in the slightest of contacts at practice and for trying to force the hand of a corporation worth untold billions of dollars into giving him that assurance. I am certain no club has ever thrown a player under the bus to make him look bad in the press and force him to negotiate to a lower deal before? Right? RIGHT!

Then we have quotes like this from James Lawton’s earlier linked article:

As for Keane’s butcher’s shop of damaged footballers, Nobby Stiles left Old Trafford with shattered knees and a perilous bank account after 14 brilliant years.
Stiles knew about loyalty and honour and ambition. It developed in the days after the Munich air disaster, when he rocked in his grief in an empty church in his native Collyhurst and this month – isn’t the timing odd? – he is selling his World Cup medal out of necessity and for how much?
One estimate is £150,000 or, put another way, somewhat less than the weekly wage Rooney has so rejected so contemptuously.

So this guy left the club after 14 years, destitute and in horrible condition and this signifies loyalty? Where is his club’s loyalty in providing a pension for him? Is MUFC paying his bills? That’s a big no. If he’s playing there today at a position where the team is strong are they going to continue to pay his salary for 10 years even though he is injured and largely ineffective toward the end? I will let you answer that for yourself, but the bottom line is always the budget and it is always king, just ask Chygrynskiy and Rosell about it. I am certain Man U were keeping him around out of the good nature in their hearts and not for some other ulterior motive. I am certain. Can you see the incredulity bleeding out of me? You should be able to by now.

When applying this to Rooney we are supposed to shake our fists at him and rue the day we purchased the Nike embroidered, Aon sponsored kit with Barclay’s Premier League on the sleeve and Rooney’s name printed on the back. Damn you, you selfish bastard! Damn you for wanting clarity on your future when you know good and well that the moment you tear your knee up, or break you arm, or snort crack off a hooker’s stomach the club is going to drop you like an old Raul. What makes you think you deserve peace of mind and clarity? Hmm? You think you are better than those poor, pitiful board room members who have severance packages and golden parachutes? What about the Glazers, who have run the company into the ground (sort of), are you better than them? Sure they own two sports franchises and their children will inherit more money than God and Messi combined, but you are not they, you selfish prick. Outrage! Scandal! Loyalty! Terrorism! Nike!

Seriously though, all of this is just some jumbled clusterfuck of banality in the modern corporate world. Don’t think Wayne Rooney gets away lightly here. He’s probably a selfish jerk too, which all of this bears out. he wants what he wants, a new contract, and his club wants what it wants, to save money and make a sound investment. However, I have a very hard time backing a corporation with umpteen billions of dollars that does not want to hand out a contract extension just yet on their marquee franchise man over a guy from a working class family who looks like a fucking bulldog and Syndrome from The Incredibles had a bastard stepchild who is in his early 20s and wants clarification on where he stands. That may just be me, but I certainly hope not.

The point here is thus: There is no “loyalty” or looking out for the team in club or professional sports anymore. Make no mistake, when Puyol or Xavi are “damaged goods” so to speak, they will be put out to pasture, as it were. Either taking a place on the bench and 1-year deals to get by, or left to go play for Saint Andreu or something along those lines. I do not mean that to say that we do not love them and worship what they have done for the club, but that’s just the sad awful truth of the modern game. They know it, we know it, and that’s why Barça has thankfully begun to enter pension clauses in player contracts. Every player should be so lucky. It is amazing that pensions are offered, although it should be standard operating procedure for someone who sells jerseys for you and makes money so Nike keeps your club around, but that’s another rant for another day. Make no mistake though, this is not the “good ol’ days” when a club would keep a guy around because he was a fan favorite (if this ever actually happened, which I doubt). This is a business. MUFC would cut him in a heartbeat, with nothing to show for it but some write up in 10 years talking about how his promise was cut out too short, and he’d be living in that trailer from the Nike World Cup ad. Sounds great right?

Oh, and don’t get me started on fans, and how Rooney, or Messi, or any other player for that matter, owes something to a bunch of people paying for the spectacle. Are you going to pay for Rooney’s doctor bills when he is 40 and can barely move around because he ran his ass off playing 70 games a year for the club who dumped him when he tore an ACL when he was 30 (I hope this does not happen, that would be sad)? No, you won’t. You will pay to watch Young Player X, and so will I. We adore players, we adore them for many reasons: because they play a style we like, or they hustle, or they score tremendous goals and cause spikes in birth rates in Spain once every couple years (that’s right Iniesta, you baby-causing bastard). None of that means they “owe” us anything, especially since the majority of fans are fickle mushheads who will abandon a team whenever it suits them. If you support the team do or die, like a good number of us on the blog do, then wonderful, and we all appreciate it.

But no player on the team owes us any amount of loyalty, because in the end we are just the middle men for a product aimed at advertisers, kit production, sponsorships, land brokerages, TV contracts, and all such similar big time money-making ventures. Sure, our purchases facilitate much of this, but we still are not “owed” anything as consumers other than watching the product given to us. We have signed no deal with Rooney, and he has given no consideration to us. I do not mean to demean the role of the fan in this, but we are fairly fickle. Look how players are demonized for their mistakes against the biggest and best competition in the world. You think Villa has trouble scoring right now, well I am sure he’s annoyed about it too, but he doesn’t owe you a damned thing and neither does Rooney. So quiet all your talk of “winning the fans back” because as soon as he scores a game winner against Everton or a golazo against Liverpool, everyone will be back to calling out “Rooooooo!” and talking about how “they loved him the entire time.” Come to think of it: He left Everton to win trophies and make more money, where are the articles out of Liverpool claiming he has besmirched the good name of their city and defamed the Beatles at the same time? Oh, and good idea threatening his life and protesting his home… That certainly shows a lot on your part.

The biggest issue here is the moralizing of the sports landscape. There is truly danger in all of this. We turn something that is a game played by girls and boys for enjoyment and then later by women and men for money or pleasure and impart it all to the greater good or evil of our society. There have probably been 15-20 sporting events in the history of humanity that have transcended sports and actually embodied something more than that, and most of them either surrounded World War II, some civil war, an underprivileged people rising up, or some other clarifying movement. Wayne Rooney moving to Man City does not qualify, sorry people. Wayne Rooney is no traitor for his actions, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were traitors. Rooney is no horrible person, Generalissimo Franco was a horrible authoritarian person. Wayne Rooney was doing what anyone with a more limited bargaining position does against their superior, they try to turn the tables and gain leverage. It worked for a day or so, until articles came out bleating about the horrors he had inflicted on modern society and how he was threatening to subvert the English Empire as a whole.

Spots are a game that we put a lot of emphasis on, and rightly so, because they are a lot of fun to watch, talk about, expand upon, and generally make into a bigger deal than they are. That does not mean that threats should be made on a man’s life when he wants to get a new deal done or asks to be transferred. he’s not fighting back oppression or standing up against the evils of the world, nor does he embody them. He’s a man, doing what we would all do: trying to make the most of our fragile situation before it all falls down around him. It’s evolution at its finest and I for one stand by Rooney entirely.

Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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  1. blitzen
    October 22, 2010

    Ew. You got ManU in my Barcelona.

    And I pretty much disagree with this entire post, and I’ll tell you why…later when I’m not working.

  2. mei
    October 22, 2010

    So wait a minute : we are paying our players pensions after they stop playing?
    Pensions for the poor old bastards(multimillioners of 34 years of age???). This is just insane.
    Much more crazy than the current insanity that allows players to be paid more in a week than what a doctor gets in a year.

    • Lou
      October 22, 2010

      Yeah, does anyone know how that works?

      I know the players donate like 0.5% of their earnings to a foundation for former players, but I didn’t realize it was for a pension plan.

      I would assume there would be some kind financial need weighting, so that Messi or Xavi probably wouldn’t be eligible, but someone who broke their leg at age 20 and never got a lucrative contract might be.

  3. Roz
    October 22, 2010

    Is this a rant? if so best rant ever. But I like to think when Xavi or Puyol are gone ,that they will be rememberd and still loved.

    • Luke
      October 22, 2010

      I hope so. I certainly did not mean to degrade either, or say they would ever quit on the club, just stating the nature of the game as a whole. I think we will all remember them fondly.

    • poipoi
      October 22, 2010

      Xavi and Puyol will be first and second with more games played in FCB. They are legends already and when they retire they will be even more, people will miss them even if we win titles. Let’s hope they retire with 3 CL’s at least to make the legends even bigger. Not many ha

      • poipoi
        October 22, 2010

        ***clicked enter without wanting to***

        ….not many players have three with the same team, nobody has 3 with FCB.

  4. Eklavya
    October 22, 2010

    Who’s on your (new) avatar Luke?

  5. Jim
    October 22, 2010

    Disagree with too much in this to go into detail when my Friday evening glass of wine is calling and it’d be a bad idea to start hitting the keys after I’ve had three or four so I’ll pass on this. Good read if the idea was to be provocative though. 🙂

  6. Nik
    October 22, 2010

    I’ll agree with the fact that clubs are no angels themselves. If I was signing for a new contract, I’d make damn sure that I’m getting the money I deserve.

    At the same time, athletes take this huge contract and piss it away on booze, girls, cars, mansions, etc. It’s kinda hard to support them in their quest to get a better contract when they do that.

  7. Jim
    October 22, 2010

    Is Alves is preparing the way for a move? Barcastuff reports still “serious differences ” over money for his new contract. I suppose it depends what he’s looking for.

    • Eklavya
      October 22, 2010

      I hope we manage to renew him, cause getting a good replacement will be though despite all names we get he’s still one of the best RBs.

      • y2k156
        October 22, 2010

        Well, Man City are after Alves and they have offered him serious money. I think he would like to stay at Barca but only if the money at at least nearby. Otherwise he will leave and again i can understand. If they are offering him double of what we give and this will be probably Alves’ last professional contract, the guy will like to get paid as much as he can.

  8. y2k156
    October 22, 2010

    Provocative article definitely. Tone is something which i don’t like.

    Subject though is quite valid and i can empathize with the matter as expressed. Rooney or any player can look for himself and simply put, nobody’s life should be threatened. This is pure mob mentality and just because 100 guys decide to become idiots, they should not be condoned.

    On the other hand, these guys are fighting if he gets 100k a week or 200k a week. As a normal fan, it is difficult to look at this with neutrally.

    October 22, 2010

    well i understand poor rooney!you know how it is someday look on your bank account and see only 50m?my god!give him the money he want!the same about poor alvez e.t.c

    October 22, 2010

    i just wanted to know how much money the month,earns a miner in chile who spends his life in dark so the rest world can enjoy so much things who came out from earth!lucky football players capitalism is so good with you!!

    • Josep
      October 22, 2010

      Thats completely different.

      These people are paid as entertainers and athletes. Its a multi-billion dollar enterprise. So much, shit maybe trillions is spent towards entertaining people each year. The money spent on players, gear, tickets, scarves, seats, shit right down to TVs and couches its all related.

      To compare a miner to this is stupid. Yeah, the miners make a lot less. And in a real world, they’d get paid good money for their resources. But no one pays to watch a miner mine. People pay to watch football players play. Thats why its a sham that the NCAA makes so much money off the players, but won’t let them receive pay.

      • stowe
        October 25, 2010

        Anyone can be a miner. football talent is very rare and so they can demand the money. NCAA can’t give money to players, that would kind of ruin the whole idea. what those players do get is a free education and potentially a whole lot of money for sitting on the bench cheering the guys drafted out of high school.

    • Nik
      October 22, 2010

      Not the players’ nor the sports fault that football generates that much revenue. It’s on the people who pay for the goods.

  11. SoccerMom
    October 22, 2010

    Well usually I stay out of the sandbox when the little plastic shovels start flying but I have to put in a word here for our loyalist Luke.

    He’s right that football is a business, a multi-billion global corporation, that hinges on money-driven ventures like endorsements and advertisements and klotchke sales. The athletes, quite honestly, are the biggest, shiniest klotchkes of all, while we penny-earning, penny-saving fans who must ‘save up’ for a socio-ship or scrounge for a kit just drop one shiny coin after another into the company kitty.

    This post reminds me, in part, of recent Rosell discussions (now HOLD ON I haven’t finished yet). (Take yer mitts off those keys). (I see you, Greece!) A big mutton of loyalty sauteed in money with a dash of any variety of spicy ‘-isms’. I understand the disappointment in not being a socio, I suppose, but I don’t understand giving another dime to Johnny Good Time or Wet Blanket Rosell. They’re o.k. And they always will be.

    Luke is right to point out that making beaucoup bucks now doesn’t necessarily mean a life of luxury forever. What if, as he suggests, somebody pulls a muscle in practice? A knee operation goes unexpectedly? A superstar emerges from the foggy ranks and kicks your ass back to Aston Villa?

    Plus, these guys aren’t Old Money. They don’t have Warren Buffet giving them the inside scoop on their options while puffing on a Cuban at the club. Maybe they have some snakeskin-suited agent who rubs his hands every time Coach butts heads with Prez. Maybe.

    Or maybe they’re hardscrabble kids — still, kids! — who had a wicked free or gloves of glue and got signed and sealed and slicked-back hair and a fancy car before most of my undergraduates passed Biology 101. Some of them, like oh, Villa, are sons of miners. Or the projects. Of course they’re going to party! I am going to walk into my composition class full of privileged undergrads on Monday and offer everybody 3 years at 3 mil a year. How long will it take before it’s Mouet in and on the house? Ten minutes? Five?

    It’s nice when an athlete recognizes how much he can mean to a kid who likes to kick the ball around in his backyard. It’s heartwarming to see him visit a hospital, or sign a ball, or scribble something with a Sharpie on his t-shirt before the game. Everybody likes that.

    Let Rooney roam. Or roost.

    But not Dani though. He owes me, given all of the props I’ve penned for him on this damn blog.

    • Nik
      October 22, 2010

      I don’t care if they party or not. It’s not affecting my life. However, you’d think that these young players would sit back and reflect on all the stories out there of stars blowing through their money too fast. I don’t hate any player for doing so, but I have no pity for them either when they suffer the consequences.

      Idk, it seems like common sense to me to control spending and save for the future, but that’s just me.

  12. October 22, 2010

    I think it’s important to note that those saying Rooney’s a treacherous jerkwad for trying to leverage as much money from a major corporation as he can are failing to see one crucial aspect of this: in almost every case, the club cares not a wit about you, the fan, except that you represent a certain dollar amount.

    Barça is different at a certain level than most (all) British clubs in that they’re an actual club; ManU, Liverpool, ManCity, are now “franchises” in the American parlance. To say otherwise is to be willfully ignorant of what’s happening in the boardrooms. The same is true of some Spanish clubs, which are owned and operated to make money–as businesses–rather than as social institutions. It’s why I can get behind Barça so much: even if it’s just 0.7%, the club gives at least something to a foundation every year and when that comes out to several million euros, that’s pretty good. At least we’re still partially a social institution, even if we’re also a corrupt corporation bent on sucking every penny out of the world.

    And to that end, it’s impossible for me not to side with the “worker” regardless of how much money he makes. I’m all in favor of increasing wages for jobs like Chilean miners or street sweepers or sweatshop workers, but that doesn’t mean that I’m for cutting the salaries of those who earn their corporations millions more than that. Rooney isn’t being paid out of the pockets of paupers, after all, but rather billionaires who are trying to suck your money out and then use you to keep their employees “in line” so they can reap even greater profits.

    Yeah, some of the players blow their money on booze and girls, cars and mansions, but hey, that’s what I blow my money on. Except the cars and mansions. But the booze and girls, yeah, definitely. And what of it? It’s their money, it’s their life. Would you have me look at your earnings and say “well, well, well, looks like someone has a little bit of a haircut and a shave fetish. and what’s this? the lady got TWO manicures in a month!? Heathens!” or instead should I say “your disloyalty to your last company that refused to give you a raise and refused to let you in on the massive profits so you left for a better position is despicable. You’re a filthy creature, you heinous treacherous jerkbutt.”

    Yeah, you wouldn’t want to be called a jerkbutt either.

    • October 22, 2010

      And just to clarify: I think athletes are paid far too much, but actually not enough in comparison to the profits they make for the companies they work for.

      Funny how that works, huh?

    • Nik
      October 22, 2010

      I’m not disagreeing at all with the fact that they should be allowed to do what they want with their money. I guess my comment wasn’t worded correctly.

      When I said “At the same time, athletes take this huge contract and piss it away on booze, girls, cars, mansions, etc. It’s kinda hard to support them in their quest to get a better contract when they do that.”, I was trying to say that it’s hard for players to generate public support in these contract disputes when they lead such lifestyles. It’s easier to vilify them out of jealousy when the lifestyle they lead such a flamboyant, in your face lifestyle (again, no judgment against that from my POV).

      • Nik
        October 22, 2010

        *when they lead such a flamboyant*

        Obviously need to proofread better.

  13. Luke
    October 22, 2010

    Thanks SoMa and Isaiah for backing me up and understanding.

    If you argument begins with “they already make too much money” or “they blow it on coke and hookers” is a null and void one on both principle and content.

    1. Yes they make too much money compared to my parents who were both public school teachers and who Rooney makes more in one month than my parents made combined before they retired.

    2. Their corporations, er, clubs, make billions upon billions yearly and are worth much more in terms of overall worth and what their holdings are. MUFC could fetch $900 billion on the open market. Barcelona could get close if it could be sold to a single buyer. No matter what anyone’s bullshit budget lines say, FCB and MUFC make more than enough to compensate Rooney for $15M or more per year. You should be paid commiserate with what you provide. Somehow in the history of our world we have determined that people will pay untold millions to watch others play sports. They shouldn’t be paid peanuts just because.

    3. Who cares what they use their money for. I use mine for booze, food, and video games. My grandmother would think that’s a terrible use of funds but it’s none of her concern. I don’t get my money at work docked because of how I spend it because that’s not how it works.

  14. Humphrey Bogart
    October 22, 2010

    I agree that everybody has the right to make the best out of its situation in Rooneys case to earn as much money as possible in a perhaps short career. But what is really getting on my nerves is that these players are constantly trying to fool the fans / the media with stupid phrases: Ronney: I am not sure if the club meets my ambtion, no you just want a pay rise, then fucking say so, Yaya: Manchester City is a new challenge, no they make you the highest paid player of the EPL, then fucking say so. I understand perfectly how this system works but please do not always say these stupid phrases with a straight face and insulting everybodys inteligence.

    October 22, 2010

    that.s why i hate capitalism!cause is the most unfair and unhuman system.litlle childs in pakistan or singapore working 16hours the day to make the balls who rooney and every rooney kicks.or rich bastards fuck them for nothing.great world.and then come a person who just have a talent to kick the ball and say:i am god!no you are are just luck because you are entertainer in a system who want to entertain the people and keep em stupid.

    • October 22, 2010

      But those are entirely different arguments. If you want a discussion about economic, political, and social justice, I’d be surprised if you find a more sympathetic ear than mine, but while it’s obviously a travesty that there are kids earning a pittance for making the very tools with which Rooney earns millions, that alone doesn’t mean Rooney shouldn’t earn millions.

      Why can’t those kids earn more AND Rooney earn millions? Again, agreed that they shouldn’t make that much money, but as Luke noted, “[y]ou should be paid commiserate with what you provide” and while that applies to both the kids in Malaysian sweatshops and star strikers in Manchester, in this particular case were talking about the latter, not the former.

      Humphrey Bogart, in his infinite wisdom (and return from the grave), makes a great point about the way the players say things and I agree, but if fans are going to react the way they do, wouldn’t you go the route that made the fewest masked men show up on your lawn calling for your head while supposedly demanding you stay at their club? I mean, obviously it backfired on Rooney and most people seem to agree about that, but come on, get a grip, fans, stop putting on balaclavas and acting like your club is the world’s most important thing.

      Obviously the world’s most important thing is the Kansas Jayhawk’s men’s basketball team (sorry ladies). Duh.

    • James
      October 23, 2010

      ??? I don’t know about Parkistan, but definitely, there is no child labour in Singapore working 16 hours a day making football. How I know? I’m a Singaporean. And we are already a first world country by the way, with higher per capita income than Greece and no huge national debt. Check your facts first before you spill them out in a public blog.

    • Nabeel
      October 23, 2010

      I agree with Isaiah-the discussion easily goes into areas of economic and social justice which are always complex and while its hard to explain why Rooney’s salary makes sense,let’s just say its a consequence of the system.

      Btw-child labor in Pakistan,or anywhere else,is not just a consequence of capitalism.

  16. blitzen
    October 22, 2010

    OK, here we go! And before I start, let me preface this by saying, Luke, I value your viewpoint. I just happen to disagree with it almost entirely. You make several points I would like to address:

    1. “Clubs are businesses, used to make money and market players, brands, and ideas. This is not your family, or your closest friend, or some medieval clan protecting against all comers.”

    You’re American, correct? Not judging you, just saying there is an element of football that you fundamentally don’t understand. Yes, football clubs are businesses, increasingly so, although most European clubs didn’t start out as any business models you would recognize. Most European clubs started out as amateur or semi-professional organizations. The players had day jobs. They may have been miners, factory workers, or infantry. The clubs had deep social roots in the communities that spawned them. Most of them still do. And people like that. No matter how commercial the modern football club has become, people are still going to identify with it on a personal and community level. And that is a big part of the joy of the game.

    2: “Are you going to pay for Rooney’s doctor bills when he is 40 and can barely move around because he ran his ass off playing 70 games a year for the club who dumped him when he tore an ACL when he was 30?

    Well, no. The idea is, he is getting paid shitloads NOW, so he should be managing his income and preparing for the day when he retires. We are all supposed to be doing that, aren’t we? The difference is, I’m not being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a week and I’m still expected to save for my retirement. I’m not going to get into the question of whether football players are overpaid, I’m just saying that they are paid enough to plan for their own futures, and it’s not our fault if they don’t.

    3. “But no player on the team owes us any amount of loyalty, because in the end we are just the middle men for a product aimed at advertisers, kit production, sponsorships, land brokerages, TV contracts, and all such similar big time money-making ventures. Sure, our purchases facilitate much of this, but we still are not “owed” anything as consumers other than watching the product given to us.”

    This is the big one, isn’t it? Players don’t owe the fans (or as you refer to them, “consumers”) loyalty? Really? What about respect? Do they owe us that? You see, this “product” you refer to, the football game? There wouldn’t be one without the fans. It’s called “bums in seats” and is one of the main sources of income for this business called the club. It’s a symbiotic relationship. It’s not even all about ticket sales. It’s about the athletes. They need the fans. Have you ever played in or seen a game in an empty stadium? It’s not fun. There is no energy, no love, no enthusiasm. It’s one of the worst penalties that FIFA or UEFA can impose on a team. Athletes in any professional sport thrive on fan attention. They need that love, that support. But they need to earn it, it’s not just a given. One way to earn it is performance–everyone loves a winner! Another way is loyalty. Fans love a player who shows that he loves them and his club. And that is how it is should be.

    4. “Wayne Rooney was doing what anyone with a more limited bargaining position does against their superior, they try to turn the tables and gain leverage. It worked for a day or so, until articles came out bleating about the horrors he had inflicted on modern society and how he was threatening to subvert the English Empire as a whole.”

    Now I agree that SAF has been very manipulative in this whole situation, but that doesn’t excuse the way Wayne Rooney has handled himself. He has insulted his team, his teammates, and his fans. And that is from his own statements, not other articles. He has every right to try to negotiate a better contract, but there are better ways to do that than by rubbishing the team you supposedly love in the media. Look at Dani Alves, since someone else mentioned him. We all know he wants more money (and deserves it!), and negotiations have been going on for what seems like ages, but has he or his agent made any damaging statements in the media? No! Because he respects the club and the fans and prefers to address the issues behind closed doors. That is loyalty.

  17. Nabeel
    October 23, 2010

    What has stood out in this entire story is the way many Manchester United fans have jumped to conclusions about Wayne Rooney’s character and his reasons, ignoring basically everything he’s done just because he went against the club in their eyes. Even before Rooney’s statement re:Gill, there were Facebook statuses of ‘Man Utd doesn’t need you’ citing Ruud and Beckham…and then when he did come out and make a statement, his words were – ludicrously – taken at face value. “He’s leaving because the club is struggling!” Does anyone REALLY think that Rooney ACTUALLY BELIEVES that Manchester United is not a championship contender and won’t be in the future, if not this season?

    I mean Fergie is Zeus in Old Trafford, but people have to recognize that he’s been playing the media game since before Rooney was conceived and that no one can or will ever know exactly what transpired between the two. I really think it’s out of line for anyone to reach conclusions and become judge,jury,and (almost)executioner (re:death threats) without knowing what happened, and just about every Man Utd fan I know has accepted the narrative in the media as it is. And it’s sad because Rooney has clearly played his heart out for 6 years and no one can doubt that he’s given it his all for Manchester. To accuse him of being a greedy selfish turncoat is in pretty bad taste.

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