Is it just me or does the whole affair at Old Trafford smell fishier than a mouldy prawn sandwich. The fantastic drama of the past week, particularly the heartbroken ramblings of Sir Alex Ferguson leads me to believe not everything is as it seems. Before the crowing of the Man U fans starts lets consider the following scenarios.
Rooney never struck me as the money grabbing type. I genuinely believe that if reasons for wanting to leave were for football reasons. I’m not sure howe much of a pay rise he has secured, but the £180K a week he has signed for is a long way away from the figures which City were reported to be willing to pay. If all Rooney was doing was bargaining he appears to have sold himself short.
I’m not sure the actions of a few hoodies have changed his mind either. The banners which adorned Scum Park on Tuesday night will have meant nothing to him, he showed in the World Cup he doesn’t really care what the fans think of him. While him signing a contract may appease the most blinkered Scum fans, it hasn’t really changed anything. Should the right offer come in for him, United can sell him, and he can say next week that he wants to leave. As most right thinking football fans know, a contract means nothing these days.
In my opinion this has been an elaborate stunt, cooked up by Fergie to send a message to the Glazers. He can’t openly criticise them, they are his employees, so he has found a way to undermine them permanently or get them to sing to his tune.
It’s pretty clear that the good ship at Old Trafford is listing badly. Star players have left, for big money. The £100m war chest for transfers is tightly locked. The team at the moment is full of young hopefuls (Bebe, Hernandez etc) and old hands (Neville, Scholes, Giggs, Van Der Sar). What reasons did Rooney give for wanting to leave? He was worried about the “continued ability of the club to attract the top players in the world”.
Ferguson immediately has a strong hand to play to the board. If his best player wants to leave, what message does that send out. The purse strings need to be loosened. Within 48 hours a new improved contract has been signed and the assurances made that Rooney required. The Glazers and David Gill are now over a barrel. If money isn’t provided for transfers then Rooney can turn round and repeat this weeks statements and request to leave again. Ferguson will then at least save some face, as it will be clear that the money isn’t there, paving the way for the protests to increase in veracity, and probably with his backing, something clearly lacking in the Norwich City fans campaign at the moment.
The deal has bought some time. If funds are not forthcoming in January , expect this scam to start again. If Man U don’t have the money, then Rooney will go in the summer.