The Rooney effect: wages rocket



Reports that John O’Shea is to sign a new four year contract worth – wait for it – £80,000 a week is proof if any is needed that intense wage pressure remains in football, despite the downturn in transfer market spending. Even Manchester United, relatively prudent on the wage front for so long, is now no longer immune to the madness it seems.

Aside from wage inflation in the wider football community, the effects of Wayne Rooney’s lavish new £180,000 a week contract will now be felt throughout the club. One of the key challenges for United in raising the bar for Rooney’s aggressively negotiated deal is the trickle down effect on the club’s squad. While the United’s leading players will seek, if not parity, then close to it with the 24-year-old striker, even squad players such as O’Shea can now expect a hefty rise.

The Irishman is out of contract in 2012 along with a rash of other United players and the club is expected to conclude talks with each by next summer. That O’Shea turns 30 in April is seemingly not affecting the club’s thinking on a new long-term deal for the Waterford-born player.

Meanwhile, Patrice Evra’s new offer is reportedly worth around £100,000 a week. The Frenchman, out of contract in 2012, also turns 30 this season. Anderson, also a free agent in two years time, is likely to settle for a little less unless Ferguson finally loses patience beforehand. Bless.

While no negotiations have begun with Dimitar Berbatov, the Bulgarian is out of contract in June 2012, as is Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher, who can expect at least parity with O’Shea.

The new contracts are among several deals at Old Trafford in the recent past. Park Ji-Sung signed a three-year deal last season that pays the South Korean a relatively miserly £65,000 each Friday, while Nemanja Vidic finally accepted a £90,000 deal in late summer that will keep the Serbian at Old Trafford until 2015.

The increase in wages at United reflects salary inflation in the wider football industry, although fans may ponder where exactly O’Shea could earn the £4.16 million a year he is set to receive at Old Trafford. The deals may also account for the creation next April of a new higher rate tax band of 50 per cent on wages over £150,000 per year. And even Bébé earns that much.

Despite the heavy pressure on wages during the Glazer family’s tenure at Old Trafford, United’s wage-to-turnover ratio remains a very healthy 46 per cent. Wages are growing but revenues have grown faster in the past five years. The ratio is easily the lowest in the Premier League, with notoriously parsimonious Arsenal on 49 per cent.

In recent seasons though United has fallen behind both Chelsea and Manchester City in the Premier League wages ‘league table’. According to City’s last accounts, the blue half of Manchester spends more than £133 million on wages, compared to United’s audited £132 million. However, with City yet to report its 2009/10 figures, a further rise is expected at Eastlands, accounting for the deals that brought David Silva, James Milner, Jérôme Boateng and Aleksandar Kolarov to Eastlands this summer.

Chelsea spends an eye-watering £149 million per season – 68 per cent of turnover – to head the Premier League wages table. But even Roman Abramovich is a skinflint compared to Europe’s leading clubs. Real Madrid’s provisional salary budget stands at £190 million, while Barcelona has recently set a budget for sporting salaries of £192 million for the current season.

The challenge for United of course is to keep the overall budget below the 50 per cent cap the Glazer family has set as policy in a period of heavy pressure, while remaining competitive for leading players. Indeed, if the club is forced into raising salaries for even mediocre performers such as O’Shea then pressure is likely to be felt elsewhere in the business to find new revenue streams and cut other costs.

United’s penny-pinching in recent seasons has seen several rounds of redundancies in back-office staff and even an end to visitors’ snacks in the Carrington canteen.

Fortunate for the Glazer family then that six players are out of contract in the summer. None of Edwin van der Sar, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Owen Hargreaves nor Michael Owen has been offered a new deal by the Old Trafford hierarchy.

There is speculation that the American owners may loosen the purse strings in the coming summer. Talk of bringing in marquee names  is cheap though.

O’Shea’s new contract is definitely not.

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  • DanS

    £80,000 a week for JoS, christ!

  • Zi Indefatigable

    Damn.

  • Paul

    If that’s an accurate-ish price that is absolutely insane. Why not just say “er, no, sorry Sheasy, you’ll have 25k a week and be absolutely over the moon.”

  • Bill

    Firstly if those reports are true, it is another bad day for football. O’Shea is an average Premier league player, how can you justify that wage in the current financial climate? Sick.

    Secondly if those 6 players leave as suggested it would free up about £350,000-£400,000 a week in wages. Space for some new players, but also more silly pay rises as Ed suggests.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    The frustrating reallity though… if not for the debt, we wouldn’t stuggle to pay the highest wages in the world.

    The likes of City, Chumpski, Real, Barca would struggle to keep up with us.

  • RedScot

    great read Ed Barker.
    its got to be stopped, fuck no’s how.
    I earn about £150 per week . I love United its my life, I hitch hike most times to the hallowed ground.
    its just sickening, not jealousy, its a team effort.
    i cant point fingers at big John, thats just lame.
    I have always thought Rooneys wage busting structure increase from 42% to an alledgedly 50% and rising. Is and will be the kiss of goodnight to Rooney.
    If anything the yanks are good at (limited) is the control of cost’s.
    It cant continue with this shelling out of cash we dont have.
    The yanks are dollar savvy.
    its not really my problem with all there wages, its not got anything to do with envy.
    its purely to see the players at all clubs play with an ethic and passion that the fans display so slavishly follow their club. Not for merely for financial gain.
    its about so much more. Its a love affair.
    Its like many things in our football world, the most sensible voices will make changes.
    Implement controls and justice will be delivered.

    Glazer out, Glazer out.

  • rickbrad2k3

    There is absolutely no way that Oshea can demand 80,000 a week, where else would he go? I very much doubt he would make it in to any other premier league team, he has no bargaining chip like rooney had. Rooney could have got much more money elsewhere, however why would United pay John Oshea 80,000 a week when he could not possible earn even half as much anywhere else. I have a feeling he would be content with 8000 a week for the performances he has put in this season.

  • sidney

    Don’t want piss on any patties but is this £80,000 confirmed

  • bman

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    The frustrating reallity though… if not for the debt, we wouldn’t stuggle to pay the highest wages in the world.

    The likes of City, Chumpski, Real, Barca would struggle to keep up with us.

    Not sure about that, actually. The policy of keeping wages below 50% of revenue seems like a sensible one, especially when our revenue is the biggest in the world save for Real and Barca. So that policy should suffice, except the likes of Chelsea and Shitty spend crazy money on wages, Shitty actually spends more on wages than they get in in total revenue, I think. Barca’s gone into debt to pay wages. At the risk of being accused of being David Gill writing under an alias, I think our wage structure is pretty sensible.

    • mongoletsi

      // At the risk of being accused of being David Gill writing under an alias, I think our wage structure is pretty sensible. //

      There’s nothing sensible about paying O’Pie that kind of money.

      He’s a squad player.

      For a mid-table club.

  • RedScot

    @BMAN, Yeah but hold your thunder big man, financial rules are a coming.
    Then were do shitty fit in this jig saw of the financial mess.
    Dont sing till its a done deal.
    i think we all know Real Madrid/ Barca are non players in the self supporting role in footie, propped up bye political governments.
    And generally finnacialy bankrupt.
    thats not the point of the article, me thinks
    Its about do you feel ” a kick in the guts” over the icons we watch being paid insane wages.

  • herbie simms

    I told you guys this story about O’Shea early this morning. Everytime I come with a comment, remember, I have already checked it out first. Iam not on here giving out any false information, unless the media is giving out false information. If you want to keep up on whats happening at Man Utd, go to: http://www.newsnow.com.uk
    Click on Manchester United and you will get all the information you need.

    • mongoletsi

      No. You said you KNEW that Rooney was going to Real, then in two years you KNOW that Jose is coming to OT, along with Rooney and Ronnie. To form an attack with Rooney, Ronnie, Berba.

      Mate, NewsNow isn’t authorative. It simply aggregates many sources. Many UNCONFIRMED sources. So well done on one of these stories being right.

  • herbie simms

    Right now, Arsenal is a dangerous team. You see that style of football they are playing? Got to be playing some of the best football in Europe. Look at their results, even in the Champions League! In the past they looked good also, but were very inconsistant. United will have to step it up, but first MUST deal with SPURS.

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    bman said:
    Not sure about that, actually. The policy of keeping wages below 50% of revenue seems like a sensible one, especially when our revenue is the biggest in the world save for Real and Barca. So that policy should suffice, except the likes of Chelsea and Shitty spend crazy money on wages, Shitty actually spends more on wages than they get in in total revenue, I think. Barca’s gone into debt to pay wages. At the risk of being accused of being David Gill writing under an alias, I think our wage structure is pretty sensible.

    Our wage structure is not what I’m talking about… I’m simply pointing out that United carries it’s own weight like no other team.

    Chumpski and City, run at a loss… fair enough as long as their owners don’ mind pissing their cash out the window… and Barca and Real, just plain cheat as far as I’m concerned.

    United COULD pay higher wages than anyone, could maintain the best youth programs, the most extensive scouting network, the best facilities, coaches, physios, etc, etc…

    If only we didn’t carry this wholely irrelevant debt.

  • herbie simms

    Alfonso makes a good point. If we can clear that debt, which we will have to somewhere down the road, we would be in good shape.

  • Baaaah

    80k per week for oshite? not bad for someone who cant pass to his own team mates. handy to have around the squad but it pains me every time i see him in the starting line up.

  • herbie simms

    Yeah, O’Shea can be a nightmare!

  • herbie simms

    On other sites, fans are discussing Carroll vs Benzema.
    They are saying if SAF is looking to buy another striker, they hope it is not Benzema and would prefer for him to try for Andy Carroll. What do you think about that? Fans feel if Michael Owen does retire and Diouf is sold to Blackburn, maybe SAF may also bring in another striker.

    • mongoletsi

      Carroll is a cock. Absolutely no class… but he’s only about 22 so a lot of that could be down to his ages and rise to fame. Benzema is about the same age but would be more expensive. More experience though.

      Erm, with Rooney, Berba, Hernandez, plus Macheda and some youngsters… why splash the cash?

      People forget that Hernandez was, despite being young, a proven talent in the not-shit-at-all Mexican league, and has many international games under his belt. Why do we NEED another striker, when the midfield needs a complete overhaul?

  • RobDiablo

    mongoletsi said:
    Why do we NEED another striker, when the midfield needs a complete overhaul?

    Quite right. We would only need another striker if Rooney, Berbatov, or Hernandez left. With a shit midfield forcing United to play three in midfield more often than not, three quality strikers is more than sufficient.

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    we need another striker who’ll render berbatov surplus and who can play up on his own against the big boys, only rooney can do it for us, chelsea have two, arsenal have three, it should be benzema

    I don’t think machedas gonna be good enough, fergie loves him though so he’s set for life

  • uncleknobheadforfucksake

    we’ve been lucky so far everyone wev played played since rooneys been out has been riff raff, if rooney was fit for the weekend wed play him up on his own against spurs, since he’s not we’ll play 442 and spurs midfield will run riot

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    I’m starting to wonder about Benzema… we’ve seen what he’s capable of, and he’s built for a power game.

    But I’d like to know why he can’t get more playing time under Mourinho, who normally loves the “bull in a china shop”, type of striker.

  • herbie simms

    I do believe SAF will bring in midfielders, but fans on other sites got into this debate about srikers and they were saying SAF likes to buy stikers. Iam not sure about Macheda, but if was to score, may see a different player after that.

  • RobDiablo

    Unregistered User said:
    …but fans on other sites got into this debate about srikers and they were saying SAF likes to buy stikers.

    It’s not a matter of what Sir Alex likes so much as what he has to do. United turn out midfielders and defenders, but they have to buy quality strikers and goalkeepers.

  • herbie simms

    I see whats happening now, the fans have been responding to an article written by Tom Costello in reference to the young players. He claims that Obertan does not have the quality to succeed at Man Utd, and he goes on to say that Macheda, Wellbeck and Diouf don’t have the quality either. As he sees it, the only young players that can succeed there is Amos, Smalling, Hernandez and Bebe. He mentions why Rafael, who has played quite a few games at right back has been unable to cement that position. So if you were to lose Diouf, Wellback, Macheda and Michael Owen, Iam sure SAF will buy another striker. From this article, thats how the debate come up between Carroll or Benzema, but 95% of the comments would like to have Carroll. Could get him for 8 million, Benzema for 10 million. I prefer Luis Suarez.

    • mongoletsi

      Who is Tom Costello? An argument-from-authority should at least cite an authority mate ;o)

      Agree on some of the above but feel Wellbeck will be at least good enough to remain a squad player.

      Bebe remains far too early to judge. Almost entirely unknown and unproven, with less than two full games under his belt. Only an absolute imbecile would be brave/stupid enough to draw conclusions from 90 minutes in a Utd shirt and some videos of him playing well.

      Macheda just doesn’t cut it. Gibson should be moved on as soon as possible. Obertan… seen nothing to convince me he’s Utd quality.

      I agree that Suarez is a good option. But I’d be happy with Carroll (if we know SAF will be around for a couple of years to reign him in), otherwise Benzema innit…

  • mongoletsi

    Eikrem btw. Seen the odd bits of him. Seems handy. Oh and Cory Evans is looking really decent too.

    It’s not all doom and gloom!

  • Ben Reynolds

    LOL LOL

    You have absolutely no chance of signing Andy Carroll, he is a Geordie playing for his boyhood heroes. You had more chance with Shearer!

    …. Plastic fans will never understand loyalty