Thursday 24th Feb 2017 was the day that just kept on giving. But much of today’s events were, in fact, years in the making. Are you sitting comfortably? It all started a long time ago in a land far far away, a simple boy called Wayne wore a t-shirt, not any old t-shirt but one with ‘Once a Blue Always a Blue’ emblazoned on it, which he promptly displayed during a goal celebration in the FA Youth Cup Final.
Not long after a stranger called Paul (aptly named) Stretford befriended Wayne and over two years he persuaded Wayne to betray his existing agent and then his beloved Bitters. In doing so Wayne became the highest profile and probably highest paid teenager in world football on £55k a week. But not happy enough with the £1.5M he grossed from that deal Stretford set about planning his next heist. Plans were put in place to continue to turn the thumb screws time and time again over the next decade.
Only two years into this contract United capitulated to Rooney’s demands to sign a six-year contract extension keeping their man at the club on an alleged £90k a week at least until 2012. Surely everyone was happy now? No? “Why not?” I hear you clammer. Well, it was about this time Wayne started extracurricular activities with OAP’s and while he was scoring for fun on the pitch it sounded like he was also scoring pretty well off it too. That is if you’re aiming for fun with Hinge and Brackett on a Saturday night.
Anyway, the contract shenanigans started again in 2010 when Wayne informed Sir Alex Ferguson that he had grave concerns about the future of the club and the signings it was looking to make. As such the Salford Scally held the club to ransom and threatened to depart to Real Madrid, The Chavs or worse still Citeh for a new start. I’m not sure who negotiated the deal but you can bet your bottom dollar Ferguson would never forget that incident, and many felt there was something ‘dark’ within the following statement he made at the time. “Sometimes, when you’re in a club, it can be hard to realise just how big it is and it takes something like the events of the last few days to make you understand. I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.” I can imagine the horses head was being lined up if he had allowed Stretford to push things much further. I’m not entirely sure that message was directed at Wayne either. What was certain was that Stretford made a shed load more money, Ferguson was furious as was often the case, and a large enough percentage of the fans would distance themselves from Wazza and would never revere him as they do other club legends. Oh, I nearly forgot to add that the deal itself, including all bonuses and rights, would realise about £50M for Wayne if he played out the contract to mid-2015. That equates to about £250k a week.
Surely now were all done right yes? No? Of course not, it was alleged by SAF that in 2013 that Wazzer once again became disgruntled at the club and requested a transfer. This was denied by Wayne at the time. Now is it me or is there a correlation between being paid more money than you can actually spend and total dissatisfaction with your employer? To round it all off Rooney penned yet another extension deal with Man U in Feb 2014 for another 4 years, worth £300k a week. I actually feel like barfing now.
So imagine my surprise this week when Rooney’s posse led by Stretford floated the idea that Wayne may have to consider his future if he wasn’t going to get game time at United. So suddenly out of nowhere, it appears that being paid £300k a week is not enough for Wayne. Instead, it transpires that what mattered all along was the opportunity to play football matches. Well, I’ll be jiggered. So there we all were thinking maybe Wazza would get the proverbial arm round from Jose and a run out against St Etienne? Not a chance son!
Jose dismissed the feeble, self-pitying plea out of hand by urging journalists to ‘speak to Wayne about his future’ and then played Schweinsteiger in the Europa League match. Laugh, I popped a hernia, and as I squished my intestines back into my abdominal cavity the wheels of action were whirring at Stretford’s offices. Suddenly Wayne is on the blower to Colleen explaining that Paul is sorting out a deal with Quanjian, which in turn she misunderstands as a gig with Gok Wan. Oh, the humanity. Before you know it Stretford is on BA flight to Shanghai telling anyone that will listen that he will make Wayne the highest paid player in the world on £1M a week,……just moments before Coleen comes off the blower with the aforementioned designer.
Subsequently, faster than an order of fried rice is turned round at the Ming Dynasty, Wayne releases a statement as follows:-
“Despite the interest which has been shown from other clubs, for which I’m grateful, I want to end recent speculation and say that I am staying at Manchester United. I hope I will play a full part in helping the team in its fight for success on four fronts. It’s an exciting time at the club and I want to remain a part of it.”
Well fella if playing a ‘full part’ on all four fronts as 5th choice forward is what floats your boat, then fill your boots son. At least you’ve earned £3,571.42 in the time it’s taken me to write this tragedy.