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Friday 22 October 2010

How Much Is That U-Turn In The Window?

And the answer appears to be thirty thousand quid – per week, every week, injured or playing. Yes, Wazza is staying at Man U, and has signed a five year contract. So that’s the end of the matter, isn’t it?

Well, no it isn’t. The “intensive negotiations” including representatives of the Glazer family – for which read “approving a higher offer” – have not necessarily secured the services of Rooney for anything like five years. But they have demonstrated the power of players and agents, and the necessity for Alex Ferguson to make his star player far more likely to give a good return on his investment.

This is because, at (say) season’s end in 2011 or 2012, Rooney will still be less than half way through his contract. So anyone wanting to buy him out of it will have to pay rather more than might have been the case on his current deal, which only has a year and a half to run. Stumping up another 30K a week makes sense for the owners if it increases the player’s transfer value from around 35 million to perhaps 55 million.

That would not give the kind of payday that Man U enjoyed when selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid – or the same rate of return – but to get 25 million plus into the bank, with all the debt hanging over the club, would be most welcome.

Except, of course, that not all of that money would accrue to Man U. When Rooney signed from Everton, there was a sell-on clause in the deal: the Toffees will, I believe, get a quarter of any fee over the 27 million or so that was paid to them at the time. So the blue part of Merseyside could be set for a six million plus windfall of its own.

And that would mean, on a fee of 55 million, Everton would be the bigger beneficiary over time. Lawyers acting for FC Sporting are believed to be sick as parrots.

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