By Nick Harris
22 October 2010
The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has claimed this evening that Wayne Rooney’s new contract is evidence of the Glazer family caving in to fan pressure and protests at the US family’s ownership.
A MUST spokesman said: “Like most supporters we are astonished but delighted by the news that Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract to stay at Manchester United. However many supporters are also expressing a degree of resentment if not anger that this whole thing had to be played out in public and that is what it took to force the Glazers to relent.”
Rooney performed a U-turn on his stated intention of wanting to leaving after lengthy talks with the club, including with Sir Alex Ferguson, and also Joel Glazer directly. The exact details of the private Rooney-Glazer conversation are not known but certainly Rooney was told he was an important player. The value of his new contract will reflect that with a huge increase on the previous £90,000-a-week deal.
The MUST spokesman added: “Recent financial results showed that Manchester United is generating a record turnover and yet we are clearly struggling to compete for the best players in the world and indeed to hold on to our best players. To lose Rooney on top of Ronaldo and Tevez was almost unthinkable. The pressure on the Glazers is intensifying and although they may have postponed an immediate fans’ revolt what has been said and done this week can’t be unsaid and undone.”
MUST say that has Rooney departed “it would have been disastrous for Manchester United on the pitch but actually an even bigger blow to the Glazers and clearly they rightly feared a huge fans rebellion. We’ve already seen them freeze ticket prices this season and this week we learned from well placed sources (and confirmed on Bloomberg) that fear of a further fans’ backlash has so far prevented the Glazers from exercising the option to take a further one-off £70m out of the club along with additional dividends to pay down part of the PiK.”