So, Wayne Rooney likes money. It’s hardly a shock.
Truly, there cannot be any other explanation for this move. The Guardian has a another riveting headline concerning the man today that concerns his apparent desire to move to Manchester Utd’s greatest rivals, Manchester City. Why would a player want to move to Manchester City? Well, perhaps the ambition of the club. But why would a player who to my memory at least recently declared that he was a Manchester United player for life want to move across Manchester to City, when his own club don’t exactly lack ambition, or do any of the other reportedly interested teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Well, it’s money, isn’t it? The world’s richest club can offer wages of- I would imagine- at least £250000 a week, something which isn’t to be sniffed at.
We’ve known for a long time that the newest generation of players are motivated, at least party, by the number of zeroes attached to their wage slip. Can we really blame them? A footballer has a short shelf life. Why not milk it for all you can while you can? Would we, the fans, really turn down that money if it were offered to us? Would we really give half to charity instead of say, run up a £700000 gambling debt in 5 months like The Independent once claimed that Rooney did? We’d like to say ‘no’, we wouldn’t. But without being put in that situation, we would never know. And without having the distorted value of a pound that a EPL footballer must have, we can never know.
Of course, in this lies the true issue here. We will never know. We have no way to relate to these young men anymore. They may as well being playing football in a floating sky city, made of gold (which I wouldn’t be surprised if Man City eventually build). It is nothing less than a million metaphorical miles away from jumpers for goalposts.
Perhaps in January Rooney will turn out for the blue half of Manchester, and the United fans will mourn for the days of team loyalty and lament player greed, forgetting that once their team were the big boys of the English Premier, with the biggest chequebook and the biggest bank balance. This new reality will take some adjusting to.
As for Rooney himself, well, he will hardly mind. He’ll be making more in a month than many of us will make in a lifetime. And he might score against United. And he may look up to the baying, red masses. And ‘dry your eyes’ he’ll think. Blue and red start to look helluva similar when they are both overshadowed by the almighty green.