And so all those dark utterings are accurate. Sir Alex Ferguson of all people has been forced to hold a press conference today to confirm that Wayne Rooney won’t be signing a new contract and wants to leave the club. Inside two seasons Man U will have lost the services of Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney – that’s a lot of fire power which will have gone to rival clubs and not been replaced following relationship breakdowns with SAF. Could any club survive that? Once upon a time Man U would have been big enough to ride it through and possibly even prosper by bringing through new talent and buying world class replacements. After all they thrived after jettisoning players of the calibre of Ince, Staam, van Nistelrooy, Beckham, Keene etc But not now. And that’s the bigger story today I fear, not that player greed is now seemingly unquenchable but that Man U are just not the force they were even two years ago.
The leveraged buy out by the Glazers has saddled the once rich club with a huge debt which means that its massive cash generation capacity is now used to try and meet eye-watering interest payments rather than new player acquisitions. So great players aren’t being replaced and over the next year Man U will also need to find replacements for the incomparable Paul Scholes plus Ryan Giggs, Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville and possibly Rio Ferdinand and now probably Nemanja Vidic. World-class players are no longer coming through the youth system. Sir Alex is approaching 70 and can’t have much burning desire left in his heart. And down the road bitter rivals Man City are being bank-rolled by one of the world’s wealthiest individuals with money to burn on his footballing toy it seems. Presumably that’s where Rooney will end up as the world’s first player on a salary of £1m per month.
And it’s where he deserves to be; at Manchester Mercenaries. I’m more and more convinced that they are the coming force in the Premiership and may well win it this year. Liverpool are already a basket case and I’ve a feeling that Man U might be only a year or so behind them in terms of a sad slow decline. I think they might even struggle to make the Champions League qualifying places this year – I can see them battling with Spurs for the 4th spot behind City, Chelsea and Arsenal, and not succeeding. But that’s football.
Then again I’m also old enough to remember the last time Man City were outspending everyone in the top Division and went out and bought the mercurial Rodney Marsh, the Rooney of his day. He was viewed as the final piece in the perfect football jigsaw but he couldn’t be accommodated without disrupting an already sweet footballing machine. And City went on to achieve nothing over the next 34 years.
So off you go Wayne and take your marital problems, greedy agent, over-bearing ego and most importantly your terrible form with you and do us a Rodney. I do wonder though if you’ll ever find real contentment son.
Great post Paul. It doesn’t look good does it? However, United survived after Beckham and Ronaldo left and we still won a few premierships after all the other ‘champagne Charlies’ left for bigger and better things (?). Maybe the departure of the player who the team seems to be built around and has a nasty little penchant for prostitutes, could be a positive thing. At least some of the other forwards might get the chance to showcase their talents to a better extent. Berbatov, Hernandez, Macheda, Nani etc are all capable of popping a few in away from the reliance on Rooney. Agree with your point on attracting new world class players though.. We may be way down the list now after Real Madrid, Barca, City and Chelsea. Dare I say even AC and Inter would be a better option for some players?
I sense it could be a turning point for Man U which has been coming ever since the Glazers arrived. I guess we’re going to have to get used to being a selling club!
Ironically a downturn in Man U’s fortunes might just hasten the end of the Glazer regime and their bloody debt burden. Every cloud…..
Nice post, and a reasonably well rounded discussion.
However, I think it’s time the scales fell from the eyes with regards to SAF’s approach to management, as well as the financial situation. It has long been my contention that the Jug Eared Scouse Twat was under the worst manager he could have been in the Premiership.
SAF has a track record of allowing the kind of ego which JEST has to develop, and even encourages it. Look at Keane, Van Horse Face, Beckham and Ronaldo – they were all subject of his fawnings and sycophancy; and all left when they used their over inflated egos against the team ethic.
JEST would have been better staying under Moyes because he would not have been allowed to become such a prick, either professionally or personally.
It may turn out that JEST or his agent, Paul ‘bung me a million’ Stretford have engineered the current situation by hawking him around Europe – and it might be that he ends up with the other misfits at Citeeh, but I can only point the finger of blame at Utd for they way they have handled him thus far. He should never be allowed to have that much influence on the team.
The prick was a waste of space in S. Africa, not because he was injured but because he knew the press were lying in wait for his return, and that his fall from grace would be huge. That was why he did the petulent rant about his own fans booing him as they left he pitch……. engineering the poor put upon personna he now hides behind.
When SAF was building up Scholes, Giggs or the likes of Neville he was starting a precedent that could only spell trouble for later incarnations of his team……. and in JEST we have the latest product.
The difference in this age of austerity is that SAF can’t paper over the cracks by buying a leading player like Veron…….. er or Blanc…….. er or Ronaldo to cover it up. What would have been his perfect action would have been to buy Ozil in the summer, but as we know there is no money for that.
Once a player believes he is untouchable then there can only be one outcome – SAF should have realised that by now and changed his style, but old dog and new trick comes to mind.
There was an image that came to mind when I saw SAF in his press conference yesterday that I feel may never leave me….. it was of an old Jewish Grandmother who has been let down by her family, baffled, rueful……. oy vey!
Please believe me that this is not schadenfruede on my part, although the words of Utd fans still ring in my ears when the press were all over Cesc in the summer, but I have long said JEST was in the wrong place. Not the club, but the management style.
I think this may, in conjunction with finance, herald the end of an era at Old Trafford.
But as you rightly say, football runs in cycles. Who would have fortold the issues at Liverpool this season?
What goes around comes around, and other cliches…..
bloody hell CC, i’d suspect you were enjoying this little drama but i know you are not a man to gloat…
i think you’ve hit on the fact that the patriarchal style of manager/club management – and I’d include AWenger and SAF in that – which has been the benchmark approach In the Premiership has suddenly been made redundant. Rooney and his agent don’t give two frigs that Man U and SAF have guided and protected him. It doesn’t matter in the world of “to-fu*k-with-loyalty”. The reality is that Rooney’s set the new tune for everyone behind him. It’s Bosman without the legals. However I’m sure Cesc will be happy to stay at Arsenal for many years to come CC.
hey it’s just a game mate and the purest form was always 5 a-side at UH/Bic’r!
Breaking news…….. JEST has signed a new 5 year deal after being assured by SAF and the Glazers that the future is bright!
Nothing to do with 30 big lads sat at his front gate then!
Wayne’s a bit of a comedian re-signing to United after all that aggro, he should remember he’s Wayne Rooney, not Mickey 🙂
great line LN! thanks for checking in.
Best PR stunt ever.
Even made Fergie cry!
but who was pulling the strings eh russ? answer that and there’s the genius!
Well would you believe it….? What tbe frig was the last week all about then do you suppose? Was it all posturing for a pay increase? I can’t believe it – it was all getting just a bit pointed but I think SAF has come out brilliantly as usual. It’ll be interesting to find out how Rooney’s team mates react to his about turn. I wonder how many passses he’ll get from Patrice Evra in the next match? Could be less than two – and the one might have the descriptor ‘hospital’ in front of it.
Football eh. Why do I get surprised when I think about the likes of Rooney, Terry and A Cole and compare them with Moore, Charlton and Armfield and come to the conclusion that the current generation of footballers have the morals and principles of rabid alsatians or Lib Dem MPs. i think i’m going to stop blogging about them altogether.
In a land of money worries I can’t even begin to think how the fair minded folk of Manchester will react to him if his form doesn’t improve.
It is somewhat obscene that we are beginning to see players who still have two years of a contract set to run suddenly start negotiating new terms by holding a gun to the heads of the club – and other clubs sensing the chance for a cheap deal circling like vultures.
I’m prepared for the Cesc circus to start up again soon – watch this space.
Yep and Cesc is as good as gone mate now unless Arsenal fancy upping his ante to £250K pw because that’s what he must be worth if Toure’s on £220k. I can’t see the parsimonious burghers of the Holloway Rd going for it CC but I can see them accepting a 65m€ bid from Barca for him. Still as you’ve been reminding me for some time now, the kids coming through could be worth the sale.
As for the fair folk of Manchester and Surrey I suspect they’ll forgive Rooney if he hits the goal trail again but they’ll never forget and I suspect it’ll be Wayne’s offski in a year’s time. For 100m€. Glazer glee.