The Independent reports that Michael Owen will earn a basic wage of £30,000 a week, with the rest of his salary dependent on appearances and goals. The Guardian also support the idea that bonuses are the basis of his contract, as do The Times.
Some will make transfer this about our debt and our ‘need’ to get players on the cheap but essentially it’s a great bit of business. I’ll leave my emotional response out for now (and there is a lot of emotion involved in signing a former Kop hero) and hail the manager for spotting this one.
If Owen really is crocked then we haven’t wasted a load of money on him. We’ve got him on a free and his wages are less than Jonny Evans’. If he manages to stay injury free and score goals, then we will we pay for what we’re getting. A lot of fans have described this situation was win-win, and from a financial perspective, that’s exactly what it is.
I will address the other issues involved sooner rather than later but whatever rival fans want to say about this, it’s hard to deny what a good business deal this is. He is one of the most prolific goalscorers England has produced and if he can replicate that form for us, we will pay him what he deserves. If he can’t live up to the hype then we won’t have a transfer fee or a massive wage bill to worry about.
Is it a desperate move from United? Well, I’d argue our deal with Henrik Larsson was far more desperate, given that he was 35-years-old when we brought him in, but he went on to score in all competitions for us. United obviously preferred Benzema but we couldn’t compete with Real Madrid. There’s no shame in not being able to financially compete with a team that will have spent £200m or more on transfers this summer! No other club are able to either.
Michael Owen isn’t the answer to everything and he isn’t a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo. He is our third choice striker and a good replacement for Carlos Tevez. Tevez scored 15 goals in 51 appearances for United last season (yes, 51 games! It’s easy to understand why he felt so unloved isn’t it?!) whilst Owen scored 10 in 31 for a team so shit they got relegated. Only an ABU would argue this was a bad deal for United and I expect that point of view to be shoved down our throat until he starts scoring for us. That is just something we’ll have to deal with… so, here’s to him scoring on his début!
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