Saturday, April 19, 2008

Ferdinand deal bad for football....

News that Rio Ferdinand has 'agreed' to sign a new deal that will be reportedly worth a staggering £120,000 a week will undoubtedly divide opinions among the fans. Wes Brown and Michael Carrick have also agreed new and improved contracts along with the England defender.

No one in their right mind would argue that securing the future of your star players' is a bad thing, but many supporters will have misgivings about paying someone £120,000 a week. This at a time when many United fans are struggling to pay for match tickets. I personally know of long-standing Reds who have had to give up their season tickets due to the ever increasing price rises at Old Trafford.

United players' have almost always been very well paid and especially since the conception of the Premier League. However, in 2005 fans favourite Roy Keane signed a new deal that saw his wages rocket by an unprecedented £38,000 to £90,000 a week. At the time, the majority of the Old Trafford crowd backed Keane's campaign to land a massive new deal.

Keane will always be an Old Trafford legend for what he did for United and so no amount of money was too much as far as the fans were concerned. However, at the time there was who voiced their concerns about this massive increase, which in turn has led to the negotiating landscape changing where big name deals are concerned at United and other leading clubs.

There will be those will argue that Rio himself helped Keane to negotiate that massive pay hike, because the club had shelled-out a record fee to acquire Ferdinand from Leeds in 2002 for a grand total of £33m. Since then there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding exactly how much Rio is currently earning, ranging from £66,000 to £100,000. No matter, this latest Ferdinand deal is a bad one for United and for football as a whole given that supporters are being priced out of going to the match.

Many fans can no longer afford to follow Manchester United, some after 30 years loyal support, David Gill, CEO, Ferguson and no other well known names currently at the club have been associated with United for that long, yet we had our ridiculous CEO telling us the fans this week that watching United is affordable.

United are winning at present and sure enough we all want to see that, but what will happen should things take a turn for the worse? The loyalty of the 'Johnny Come Lately' element of the current supporter base will then be put to the test.

Unlike some fans, I am in no way anti Rio - far from it - who wouldn't do the same in similar circumstances? It doesn't alter the fact that this latest Rio deal cannot be viewed as anything but bad for football as a whole.


  1. Unfortunately if MANU do not pay top players these inflated wages they will be off to other clubs who will. The only way forward would be to impose wage limits with all the problems that would involve. It is a viscious circle without an easy remedy.

  2. This contract probably reflects the bosman rulings.. which is a pity because they mitigate against building a team and squad construction. I hope ferdinands form continues throughout the contract as it seems footballers do play better when they are entering negociations. In this case I would have prefered a wage of 100000 per week and the other 20000 per week to be given as a golden handshake on completion with appearaces taken into account. afterall if a player can ask for an obscene ammout of money and the club asseedes to his request surely he should have the confidence in his ability to agree to deferred payment.

  3. Sorry, i disagree, the prices are still more than affordable. Whether you like it or ot fotball is business and business' are there to make a profit.Sad but true. I hate to sound like Gill but the prices are still very attractive compared to many other clubs.

    I'm not defending the price hikes, they are a lot more than they should be but then that is a result of the financial situation our club is in and the "milk them" attitude of the Glazers.

    There are MANY loyal fans that that would jump at the chance of a season ticket, fans that would go to every game and not just while things are good. I'm sick of hearing that anyone new that gets a season ticket will be part of the prawn sandwich, glory supporting lot.

    I've supported the team since i was 6 (1982) and object to being labelled with the glory boys.

  4. Stephen - there are MANY loyal fans who can no longer afford a season ticket too. Sure, the Glazers are the root cause of the financial problems, their financial plight will eventually lead to the total unravelling of the club as we know it.


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