With the Wayne Rooney contract saga out of the way, it is time to look at the cost that huge wages of Premier League stars are having on both fans and clubs alike. Wayne Rooney, who was in the stands for the game against Tottenham on Saturday evening, should be showing Manchester United fans more humilty than he has over the last week as new figures have shown that 10% of Manchester United’s gate receipts will be needed to pay just a week of Wayne Rooney’s new contact.
The Mail reported, ‘7,407 of them. Because that is the number required through the turnstiles to pay just a week of his new £10million annual wage, a staggering 10 per cent of the club’s average home gate.’
Over at Manchester City the figures are even more staggering. Manchester City’s Yaya Toure’s £221,000-a-week wages need even more paying supporters, more than 10,000 a game. But Rooney’s new deal is a significant escalation in the value of English players, part of the inflation that has now taken the Premier League’s total annual wage bill close to £1.5billion.
This is the chance for fans to vote with their feet. How out of touch have these players become, and can fans keep flooding through the gates to support their clubs. Fans have taken the brunt of this boom in Premier League salaries. Ticket prices across Premiership grounds have increased to record levels, when is the time that we say enough is enough. Fans are now realising that the burden of this is being placed solely on their shoulders and its time for them to act with their feet. At Old Trafford the process in under way. Thousands took to the streets on Friday to demonstrate against the American owners.
After the Glazer’s takeover at Manchester United, Mike Turton and others founded FC United. This club embodies the disgust that Manchester United fans have towards what is happening at Old Trafford. The Mail reported that, ‘their crowd of 3,229 in the last qualifying round was bigger than those at four of that Saturday’s League Two matches. It would take the cash from just 15 of them to pay the weekly wage of their own star striker, Mike Norton, who is on about £120 a week.’
On this subject, Mike Turton said to the Mail, ‘I followed United for 30 years and I was a season-ticket holder but the Premier League is less interesting for me now. There is a lack of soul and quite a few mercenaries just passing through.’
This is a common feeling from many football fans. Can we really have heroes on the pitch when they earn such vast sums of money, and have no humility on their earnings. Of course some footballers do some amazing charity work, and that always has to be applauded but are the majority of footballers so out of touch with the real world. Next season when the governments cuts come in, these top earners will not be effected. However the vast majority of fans that pile into grounds across the country each week will be – and they will expected to pay huge sums of money to fund wages.
Football is loosing touch with reality. Fans can have a huge say in the future direction of the game if they vote with their feet. Why should fans be expected to finance debts and fund wages with money they work so hard to find. If fans groups got together and unified on the same position, football would be better for it. A small percentage of Manchester United fans taunted Wayne Rooney on Saturday – a reaction that is very understandable.
We need to take our game back from the money men that are conspiring to destroy it. If every Premier League ground was empty on a weekend they would have to take notice. Fans are the life blood of clubs. Chairman’s, director’s, managers and players will come and go but fans will always be their to support their badge. If the balance isn’t restored between player and fan what future does football have. Fans can have a massive say in the future of this discussion. Passion is something that fans want from their players. Passion is something fans have for their team. It is now time to passionately stand up for every fan who is being mistreated by their club.