Manchester United has moved to draw a line under the Wayne Rooney contract affair, with the striker appearing on in-house channel MUTV today. Stopping short of the promised apology to supporters and disingenuously claiming that he always wanted to stay at the club, Rooney now says he will be at United for the long-term.
In one of the most patronising interviews ever conducted by MUTV – dubbed Pravda by supporters for its Soviet-esque approach to ‘news’ – Rooney says he will now become a role model to United’s younger players.
Bizarrely, Rooney also claims that Old Trafford’s reaction to his return was “brilliant,” despite audible jeers heard ahead of the 25-year-old’s introduction against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
“It was a great feeling, obviously having been out for a long time and the issues that have gone on over the last few weeks,” Rooney told MUTV.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about the reaction from the fans but overall I thought the reception was brilliant and all I want to do is get on the pitch and score goals.
“I can understand the fans frustrations with the contract negotiations, how it happened in the public eye which made it more difficult. But at the end of the day, the main thing for myself and the club was that we managed to agree that deal.”
Shortly after Rooney signed the new deal, manager Sir Alex Ferguson promised a public apology would be forthcoming. It’s a promise broken by the player, with the controversy now “swept under the carpet” according to left-back Patrice Evra.
During protracted contract negotiations in October Rooney said that United had failed to assure him the club could continue to attract leading players. In a statement the striker questioned the Reds “ambition” at a time when debt has cut into Ferguson’s transfer spending.
But Rooney angered fans and players by airing his views in public before eventually signing a new five-year £180,000 per week deal. Not least because knowledge of the £260,000 per contract offered by Manchester City was widespread though the football community.
Indeed, Rooney today rubbished reports that the new contract is simply a precursor to an eventual move to City or elsewhere in the coming summer, with United having protected its asset and Rooney substantially increasing his income.
“I’ve heard from different people that I’ve agreed a new deal so that the club can agree a higher price for me to join a different team somewhere along the line,” he added.
“But that’s a load of rubbish. I’ve stayed a new deal to here. My long-term future is at Manchester United.
“I’ve always made it aware that I wanted to stay at this club. I had my concerns and voiced my opinion but it went from there.
“I’ve said it before my long-term future is here at United. I want to help the younger players in the way Giggsy, Scholesy and Neville have helped me.”
However, Rooney now leaves himself open to both ridicule and accusations of hypocrisy after the player’s management team widely briefed media of his desire to leave United in the build up to a very public dénouement to contract negotiations last month.
Not least the statement, released just two hours before United’s fixture with Bursaspor, which questioned the club’s ambition. After all Rooney put his name to the statement, which was designed to create maximum exposure for the player’s ’cause’.
In today’s scripted MUTV interview, Rooney also risks further insulting supporters by placing himself in the same bracket as Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, who have appeared more than 1500 times for the club between them. After all, not only was Rooney quite prepared to sign for City but has been widely accused of using prostitutes, been pictured smoking and is known to drink to excess.
Indeed, lifestyle issues are believed to be part of the reason United sent the player to train at Nike’s headquarters in Oregon earlier this month. The striker has suffered serial ankle problems since being injured against Bayern Munich in March and performed poorly for club and country in the intervening eight months.
However, the Rooney now believes his fitness levels are returning, after training full-time in the US and for the past 10 days at Carrington.
“My fitness is coming back,” said the striker, who has now scored for United in open play since March.
“I went away for a week to the States to work on my fitness which I thought was just what I needed, to get away and get my fitness up.
“I’ve come back and trained well with the lads and I was happy to get 30-35 minutes on Saturday. The manager has said I’m going to play tomorrow against Rangers so I’m just looking forward to that.
“I went to the States with a guy from the Man United medical team to work on my fitness training and it was really intense working from nine in the morning to six or seven at night.
“I wanted to make sure that when i returned to team I was fit and ready not that it would take for a five weeks to get back into games.”
Indeed, a strong run of performances from the now fit striker will likely win over many United fans, fickle as supporters are.
Yet, in the month since Rooney last started for United he has earned more than £1 million from his lavish new contract. It’s more than many fans will earn in a lifetime, making the player’s attempt to airbrush the less savoury aspects of his recent behaviour all the more unpalatable to many supporters.
Perhaps fans cannot expect an apology for what is essentially a business transaction between employer and employee. Yet this is an outrageously wealthy young man, fattened on the money paid by supporters at the turnstile.
For that, at least, United fans surely deserve both the truth – which Rooney patently did not offer today – and a nod towards remorse for his behaviour, which has bordered on obnoxious in recent months.
It is seemingly unlikely from a yet another cosseted, arrogant and ultimately unaccountable multi-millionaire player.
28 thoughts on “Rooney seeks to rewrite history over contract saga”
Shite article, Rooney just signed a 5 year contact and sorted out the problems he had.
If you want to have a pop at someone do that cunt Ronaldo who agreed with Blatter he was being treated like a slave by United, lied to the fans AND FUCKED OFF!
Jed – pretty sure Ronaldo never put out a press release demanding a move
Let it go, please. I’ve always blamed this “saga” on his agent, hence the statement he put his name to. Not, significantly, any verbal statement about all this.
Stetford: “Here, lad, just sign this. This is what we need to be said to get you the money that you so deserve…”
Ultimately, the blame can fall on the Glazers. Who here has never thought about our ambition in the transfer market!? Why so much hate for someone mentioning the massive (bald, bespectacled) elephant in the room? Anyone who truly believes that Rooney should have said “I don’t care, I just want to play for this club, forget wages and forget if we will slip down to a mid-table club for years to come” will be let down many times as the game goes on.
Let’s put this to bed, if only to stop Everton fans from saying see how it feels.
Absolutely sir! Said it all from minute 1. It stank of a big conspiracy. Rooney was nothing more than a cog in the machine that engineered Fergies master plan to get the message over to the Glazers that our biggest asset was prepared to jump ship if there were no guarantees made about future investment. After all……”The owners have been brilliant, they don’t interfere”. What he failed to add was that he had let them know for some time the natives were getting restless at the apparent lack of funds being offered, with no positive dialect filtering back. The club allegedly started the ball rolling by leaking Rooney’s off field scoring exploits which they’d previously kept classified for over 12 months. Wayne saw his arse, but the club got what they wanted and so did Rooney. Secretly, Fergie is stuck between two stools. By all accounts he is “dissillusioned” with the Gimps and Gill. He feels he’s taking a lot of the heat.
Well maybe he should have thought about that before he welcomed them with open arms.
Bear in mind that if Lord Ferg hadn’t fallen out with the previous Irish owners over what basically amounted to a test tube of horse spunk, we wouldn’t be in this fecking mess now. He is highly culpable in the shit we now have to deal with. Sorry folks, but it’s true.
Bruce – fergie is highly culpable for the Glazers and should ultimately by held accountable in history
I’m sad to say that this interview wasn’t even necessary. The majority of fans cheered him on Saturday, which is a disgrace. This guy should earn back the right to be cheered.
I can understand that he may have been torn between the two dominate professional people in his life and he may not have sanctioned the press release. Nevertheless, it’s quite clear that he gave serious thought (and may continue to do so) to moving to City and generally treated the club and Fergie with a lack of respect.
You can’t spin this all on the Glazers. Stretford’s PR looks like it’s already fooled most United fans.
Ha, I love the comments. It was his agent’s fault! No it was the Glazers’ fault! You’re both wrong, it’s Fergie’s fault!
You’d think someone put a gun to Rooney’s head and made him ask for more money.
Bman – right, he’s 25 and needs to take responsibility for his own actions
Agent or not, Rooney did it. He nearly went to city, the same treacherous act that teve$ did.
The only noticeable thing to come from this interview is the fact that it is now well apparent that Rooney is aware of the media and it’s power, he just doesnt have the brains to use it correctly.
Red Phil – right eeerrrmmm yeah eeerrrmmm you know eeerrrmmm like you know errrr
mongoletsi likes this
which is supposed to be my display name. FAIL
Mongoletsi / PSM – ah but you used a different name for comments on the blog and the system has remembered you!
if you had the talent/ability or worked hard to be in a position to get an annual pay of a million bucks in your company, would you sell yourself short? loyalty and dedication should not be one-sided. all these jealousy and envy of footballers and their pay smell of hypocrisy. you wouldn’t be bitching if your job paid you 10 million bucks a year now would you? and what about those footballers who get a career-ending injury, lose their form, fade into non-existence and conveniently get forgotten by you?
JC – Footballers play football… a game… a form of entertainment… an activity completely devoid of any real contribution to society. That a grown man can earn a living at all by playing football is ludicrous; that a man can earn more than doctors and educators by playing football is insane, but such is the nature of our society: we put our money into those areas we deem most important, and by that measure, entertainment is second only to war on our list of priorities.
Even the poorest paid footballer earns in a week what the average working man or woman in Britain earns in a year. So, at the end of one year, the footballer will have earned fifty-two times the annual average salary of a worker, an amount that is probably roughly equal to the total earned by the worker in his or her forty-seven years of labor (working from eighteen years of age until retirement at sixty-five) if the worker is lucky enough to avoid redundancy and long periods of unemployment. I’ll simplify it for you: crap players earn more in one year than the average worker earns in a career. A fact you seem to have conveniently overlooked in your zeal to make your accusations of hypocrisy.
As for the unfortunate players who suffer career-ending injury, loss of form, etc. Do they have some god-given right to earn millions? Should their choice of profession insulate them from the harsh realities of life that restrict the vocational possibilities of the average man and woman, forcing most into that life of quiet desperation as they find themselves choosing work that pays the bills over something that they’d actually enjoy doing? The answers, I’m sure, are evident even to someone as thick as you appear to be. Next time, think before you write.
‘Even the poorest paid footballer earns in a week what the average working man or woman in Britain earns in a year’
that has got to be one of the stupidest comments i have seen on here, and theres a lot. the poorest paid footballers, and i am assuming you mean professionals, are not on mega salaries. not a bad wage, nor a bad way to make a living, granted, but the statement above is utter cock. one derived probably from reading the Daily Mail too often?
If you read the title of Ed’s article you will see that it concerns a Mr. Rooney; JC’s rebuttal of Ed’s arguments are focused mainly on the same person. No one, with the possible exception of you, is talking about a squad player at Wrexham. I’ll admit that I widened the focus a bit to include Rooney’s peers, if you will, but if it will help you to be “right” and score some points, knock yourself out. When you are able to remember the issue under discussion, come back and we’ll talk about it.
Personally, war is pretty low on my list of priorities.
Me too, but you only have to follow the money to see that war is the best funded concern going.
I blame the PIK.
Spot on Ed. What a depressing thread this is – where’s herbie simms when you need to bring some unbridled optimism to the party?
Yeah. A sloppy hit piece, this is.
Maybe I have a completely different perspective from the States, but I just don’t share this potent animosity towards Rooney. So he wanted one, big contract. Fine. He also wanted the team to show more hunger, which shows it is about more than just a pay-day.
And what’s more Rooney is right. The team’s transfer policy is a joke. We all know that. So he did something about it. Good for him, I say.
Meanwhile, we castigate the transfer policy on this site, then somehow dismiss as motivation for Rooney? That doesn’t make sense. It seems he was as upset as we are…
dear saint rob,
the funny thing about hypocrites is that they haven’t a clue about it and they always prove their label with their absurb reasoning.
since when did entertainment cease to be a significant part of society or life itself? and it certainly seems like you need plenty more of it. and who determines that football’s not supposed to make you rich? you? and if your shite job was paying you more, would you be ranting and foaming at your mouth right now? if there weren’t any market demand (go google “economy 101, supply demand”) for their entertainment, would they be earning those filthy, evil, non-deserved millions? someone said something about thinking before writing, hmm…
and no, no one said anything about footballers having god-given rights to earn millions. that came from your delusional, dysfunctional and bigoted mind. what i said was they face both extremes of their career risk. so, is it ok even for someone as bigoted as you to bitch about them earning millions but conveniently forget when they suffer the other end? i don’t recall you helping them find a job in their wheelchair or coaching them for your job. and you probably don’t even know or bloody care about the thousands who fail and are now still looking for jobs, after being rejected for your shite job which is obviously paying you way too much to have time to come up with such utter rubbish.
ok, too much time spent trying to knock some sense into hypocrites and bigots in this world. just work hard or get a diploma or something, good luck.
JC – You write as if you only had to make a statement in order for it to be true, but that’s not how it works. You don’t know anything about my employment situation (or much of anything else, apparently). When you are capable of stating a thesis and then backing it up with arguments formed on a foundation of reason and logic rather than your fevered imagination, maybe you’ll actually have something to say. Once again, next time, think before you write.