Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract with Manchester United worth a reported £300,000 a week. The club is happy, the great freckled one is happy, the Stretford End and everyone involved at Paul Stretford’s End are happy, even the jaded, snarking curmudgeons are happy, such are many plentiful examples the situation provides for their life force enhancing belief that modern football is at the root of everything rotten and evil on this ghastly forsaken burning rock of nothingness we fool ourselves into thinking a home. Everyone is happy.
And yet somehow the sneaking suspicion that we’ve all been had lingers like the bad aftertaste of a Casillero del Diablo.
So, in another life, what else could United have spent 300k a week and 14m a year on instead of Wayne Rooney’s inevitable second hair transplant?
1. Pay two people £150k a week to play in midfield
It may have escaped those without the finely tuned nose of a true detective, but I’ll let you in on a secret – United have a problem in midfield. Despite the fact Rooney often spends huge swaths of games in a sort of self created auxiliary holding left back role, he’s not midfielder. Yet. Whilst the ridiculous valuation of footballers may threaten to become an elaborate satirical performance piece on the housing crisis (or perhaps it’s vice versa?) 300k is still a huge amount. You can still pick up a top of the range playmaker (only two previous owners) for a cool £150k. Even in the trendy deluxe diminutive Spanish model, David Silva and Juan Mata both command in the region. Perhaps get them in a collectable set? Buy two and get a novelty Marouane Fellaini thrown in for free! Ilkay Gundogan is on a paltry, almost insulting mid level banker’s salary of £25k a week. Why not buy a whole team of him? Some of them can play in defense (which, don’t tell anyone, is also a problem.) Sheeeyyyt, United could’ve caved into Paul Pogba’s salary demands thirteen times and still had change for an Ilkay Way.
2. Expand Old Trafford to compete with City.
Manchester City are now the biggest club in Manchester. Manuel Pellegrini has spoken, and in every sense but the actual words he used and what they mean, he’s right. So how will United compete with City and their imposing haul of 3 league titles once their new 60,000 capacity expansion makes the Etihad the second largest club stadium in the country, behind only, erm, Manchester United? Well, by expanding their own stadium of course. Perhaps with an exclusive corporate helipad and a state of the art pitch level retracting jumbotron. One architect has already proposed cramming ticketless fans onto the roof! To ignore such genius would be folly.
3. Do a Bayern and give back to the fans.
With it’s increasingly rampant propensity for evil, PR is now very important to football. Few top clubs can escape the perception that their working class roots are being eroded in favor of big business by an army of invisible Tony Blairs all desperate to play head tennis with Kevin Keegan. Bayern Munich can certainly try though, with their cheap tickets, safe standing and wily initiative to shame not only our football, but also our exorbitant pricing by buying out Arsenal’s away allocation as a goodwill gesture to their fans. Gone are the days of xenophobic ‘bantz!’ and giggling at rude sounding names, these days any football fan worth their salt wants to be German. With this in mind, United could claw back some respectability for our feeble Unterliga by reimbursing 26,000 of their lowest tier season ticket holders as a show of good faith. Anyone who spends a whole season singing songs about David Moyes deserves some mercy.
This would be brilliant, and is quite comfortably the least likely option on this list.
4. Hire thousands of teachers, nurses and soldiers.
Barely a contract renewal or transfer window goes by without some enlightened altruistic sole lamenting the plight of our underfunded public sector betters. “Just imagine how many teachers/nurses/soldiers you could pay with such and such’s salary” they say, curiously never implying we could up their wage substantially, but merely that we could hire more of them, at the same rate. To this end, United could hire thousands of nurses, soldiers and teachers, at the going rate, to aid the physios, guard the stadium and teach Rooney the many available alternatives in the English language to “obviously”
5. Buy an MLS Franchise/Sponsor a Llama/Help pay off their debt.
You know, something daft like that. Lolz.