It is not often I have real sympathy for Sir Alex Ferguson, however on this occasion I believe he has been let down on many fronts. Nobody has given more to making Wayne Rooney the player he is than the Scot; regardless of what United’s No.10 may think.
I have to say I have been absolutely shocked at the developments this week. Fergie has given his version of events and why we sit and wait for Rooney’s official response, we are left to wonder where the breakdown has stemmed from.
A lot has been mooted about how the fall-out has occurred, from the players wage demands right down to his anger at Fergie’s decision to take him out of the firing line, given his off field discretions. You would have thought Rooney would have been thankful at his managers desire to protect his player and give him the opportunity to get his own house in order away from the public spotlight. Rooney instead decided to deny knowledge of any such injury and at the same time make a fool out of the very man looking to protect him. As much as Ferguson lets on that his latest contract offer will always remain on the table, should Rooney wish to stay you do sense that their relationship is beyond the realms of repair.
Unfortunately for Ferguson he is losing the ability to control his players, much in large to the club’s crippling debt that prevents United being able to pay top wages, as well as the new contract laws that exist within football, where players can now call the shots and buy themselves out of their contracts if need be. While the Bosman ruling certainly has its merits, this Webster ruling is by far the most damaging where players can break their own contracts after a set period of time. In a day and age where being a free agent enables top players to demand what they like, having to pay off their contract is hardly a real deterrent, given they can get that back, and some, with a huge joining fee at their new football club. Wayne Rooney only has to pay a reported £5m to buy himself out of his current contract at Old Trafford; hardly a fee that repays the huge investment that Manchester United have put into the players development over the past few years to help make him the World Class footballer that he truly is. It is one in the eye for supporters, Sir Alex Ferguson and the money men at Old Trafford.