The Daily Grind Video

As a long time fan of Manchester United, one of the finest institutions in English football, I shared the bemused and shocked reaction that greeted the news all across the country. As Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager capable of ruling with an iron fist, meekly read out the statement confirming Wayne Rooney’s intention to quit, the gasps could be heard across the country. 

Perhaps most surprising aspect of this was the seemingly accepting manner in which this information was given. Here was Sir Alex, a man known to dispense of star’s who’s egos were considered too big for the club, seemingly accepting the situation for what it was. The same man who dispensed of David Beckham without a second thought and leading to the rise of Cristiano Ronaldo onto the world stage. However this bemusement soon turned to venomous anger as the sheer betrayal by the talismanic forward which the fans of United had come to love and respect.


Perhaps this was destined to happen, ever since the ridiculous scenario that was the takeover by the Glazers. Suddenly, United were found with new owners and saddled with over half a billion pounds (around 700 million dollars) of debt and with even more ludicrous interest payments so that the owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could add United to their portfolio.

Since then United’s force has slowly dwindled. Indeed, initially there was great success, and turnover at the club is at record high. But deep down, there are problems. United are a selling club, unlike the buying force they once were. Although inevitable, the selling of Ronaldo to Real Madrid for 80 million pounds was not reinvested, but used to balance the books and show United had made a profit. This financial year, without the sale of a marquee name, a 100 million pound profit was turned into 80 million pound loss.


However, the differences between Rooney and Ronaldo are clear. Ronaldo provided Ferguson with great loyalty and respect, and when asked, gave another year of fine performances before heading to Madrid. Rooney’s ambitions appear to be purely financial, with the neighbours Manchester City with their Arab Oil money perhaps providing the best avenue for a monster pay day. For a player that merely months ago claimed he would be at United until retirement, this is perhaps the ultimate betrayal. But does this mercenary nature surprise anyone anymore? Loyalty it seems is stuck in the 20th century. Greed has reared it’s ugly head, and it’s name is Wayne Rooney

For a club that made this mercenary a superstar, and for Sir Alex who protected, nurtured and turned Wayne into the incredible talent we see today, it is a show of disrespect on a truly ridiculous scale. For Wayne it is just another payday. For United, the ultimate disrespect and betrayal. Perhaps this is the signal of the end of Sir Alex’s tenure, and the crumbling empire that is Manchester United.