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United Contracts: Becks Truth and Taking the P**s out of Brown

Wes BrownDavid Beckham is a player I have mixed feelings on. As a lifelong Manchester United man and incredibly talented player, he brought so much to the club. He was with United in the most successful year in the club’s history, playing a vital role in our Treble winning season. He played with passion, commitment and brilliant skill. Yet in 2003, after winning the title, he left us for Real Madrid.

People talk of the rift with Ferguson, citing that as the reason for Beckham leaving, and it really gets on my nerves. I am not doubting the falling out with Fergie had influence on his decision to leave, but Beckham fans seem unwilling to admit the realities of the situation.

A year and a half before the boot in the eyebrow incident, following the defeat to Arsenal, contract negotiations with Beckham began. As a self proclaimed United fan, at the height of his career with the club he loved, there surely shouldn’t have been any stumbling blocks. But there were. Whilst club and player had agreed on a weekly wage of £92,000 a week, Beckham was not prepared to settle for what we’d offered him for image rights, working out at £20,000 a week on top of his weekly salary. “It’s not the salary that’s a problem,” he said. “It’s just the image rights that needed a little perking.”

In February 2002, The Telegraph reported that Beckham had already gone through 22 unsuccessful meetings with in the club in regards to his contract. “We will always try and re-sign any player at Man United and David is no different,” Ferguson said at the time. “Hopefully in the next two weeks we will get that sorted. The offer is there, it’s a good one and David knows where he is. I’ve spoken to him many times. I think when David was left out of the team it was an area of worry for him. Nobody likes to be left out but it happened for the best reason and David’s form now is because we rested him – if we hadn’t you would not see that form today.”

If I was Alex Ferguson, who has always stuck by the idea that no one player is bigger than the club, I probably would have fallen out with Beckham too. He describes Fergie as a father figure, he says he loves United, says he wants to stay with the club, but is holding the club to ransom over a ridiculous amount of money. The famous boot kicking incident took place in February 2003 and if I was Sir Alex Ferguson, I wouldn’t have just been kicking that boot around the dressing room, I’d have been picking it up and shoving it down the throat of the player demanding more than £110,000 a week from the club (and let’s remember this was some 5 years ago, truly insane money back then) who put on such a half arsed performance before getting injured and us getting knocked out of the Cup by our fiercest title rivals. The fact that the incident was an accident, Ferguson joking he’d still be playing if he could accurately kick a football boot across a changing room and striking an intended target, seems to be forgotten by the Beckham lovers.

Before signing with Real Madrid, Beckham said, “I’ve never said that I’d never move away from Manchester, and I’ve never said that I’d end my career there.” Seven days before agreeing terms and signing a deal with Madrid, he said, “I’m a Man United player. I’m contracted to Man United for another two or three years, I think.” What took him two years to fail to do with United, he succeeded in doing within a week with Real.

Before I get these Beckham lovers complaining about this article, which will inevitably happen, I want to reiterate how much respect I had, and do have to a certain extent, for the player. I’m not going to hold it against him that he wanted a new challenge and more money playing for Real Madrid, but I do begrudge the blame landing on Fergie’s doorstep and Becks walking away smelling like roses, the victim in the situation. The die hard United fan pushed out of the club by the ever ruthless Ferguson is not a story that rings true at all with me. He may still love the club, cheer us on, look out for our results, but back in 2003, he was far more concerned with the media spotlight and the money than he was playing for United. Like George Best before him who got addicted to the booze and women, Beckham craved the limelight and the dosh. If he had his time over again, I imagine he would have put pen to paper on the first contract we offered him, now realising the bright lights of Madrid were not all they were cracked up to be and that no amount of money can substitute representing United. I bet it tugged at his heart strings seeing former team mates and friends Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs lifting the Premiership trophy last May, longing to be a part of it.

Now, the reason why I am digging all of this up is because of the ongoing problems with Wes Brown’s contract. The same people who laud praise on David Beckham “the red” seem to be giving Brown a hard time over his contract. I must admit, when I first heard he’d rejected our offer, it put my back up slightly. Here he is, playing first team football for Manchester United, and he’s rejected a contract renewal? Who the fuck does he think he is? He’s a big favourite with United fans, who rate him far more highly than fans of any other team. We love him for his attitude, for his approach to the game, and for his willingness to get stuck in. To think of him playing for Newcastle, or Spurs, or Everton, or any of the other likely candidates didn’t sit too well with me, particularly if the sole reason for moving was the money.

However, I’ve done a bit of thinking and research since then, and unusually for me, my opinion has started to change somewhat. Of course I’m not softening to players who are demanding ridiculous sums of money, and whilst I’m not going to go down the whole “I’d play for this club for free, so how can £x not be enough for him?” route, I think Wes Brown has a point when rejecting the latest contract.

The reports are not entirely conclusive, but from what I can gather, Wes has been offered a contract worth £40-45,000 a week, and is holding out for £50-55,000 a week. The reported reason for him not signing is he’s not happy with being offered a fraction of what the top earners at the club are on. Now, he isn’t going to be after the £120,000 of Ferdinand, but something representative of his role within the club.

In his time with United, which dates back to his childhood, he has suffered with reoccurring injuries, he’s played the part of a regular starter, and he’s kept the bench warm. He’s flitted between these three roles for years and currently is going through nearly a year long stint as United’s starting right back, following the injury to Gary Neville last March. The last time he featured so heavily in the first team was the season before last, partnering Rio in the centre of defence all year. So now, his job as “filling in for” Gary Neville has gone on and on, with Neville still not making the return we’ve been promised time and again. The full back on the other side of the field, Patrice Evra, who signed in 2006, has a new contract worth £70,000. Does Wes deserve that? Some would argue yes because he is currently our first choice fullback, others would argue not, as Evra is our long term full back, whereas that is not necessarily the case for Brown.

I had a look around at what other players are earning, which was more difficult than I’d imagined. It was when I found out O’Shea weekly wage that I swayed entirely to backing the case of Brown. O’Shea signed a contract extension in November 2007, for around £50,000 a week, reminding us why we had a soft spot for him as he declared he was happy to play in any position on the field whenever he could, as long as he was at United. The contract O’Shea signed before this was at the end of the 2002-2003 season. Although details are sometimes fuzzy, I found several sources which claimed this deal was worth £35,000 a week. Incredible. O’Shea was offered £5,000 less a week in 2003 than Wes Brown is being offered now, and Wes is being criticised for rejecting it?

Brown will turn 29 this year meaning this contract will be the last big one of his career. If he does sign and stays on with United for the next few years, the 1 year extension is the best he has to hope for. Is he being disloyal making sure he secures a contract he feels he deserves, as the last major one as a player?

The problem here is that United are taking the piss out of Brown because they can, because of the reasons we all love him. He is loyal to and passionate about United, so they feel as though they can scrimp and save, feeling as though his dedication to the club will leave him settling for less than he’s worth. Would they be messing around like this over Ferdinand’s contract? Rooney’s? Ronaldo’s? Of course not. Roy Keane spoke critically of United’s way of handling contracts in his autobiography, claiming that the club were surprisingly “tight” when it came to renewals. The most remarkable dealing Keane had concerning his contract was in 2000 after signing a £52,000 a week contract with the club. The season ticket prices rose before the start of the next season and United wrote a letter to the fans explaining that Keane’s wages were part of the reason. “I’m not one for holding grudges but this was a stupid mistake, a bad public relations exercise and something that should never have happened,” said Keane in response to the letter. “I’m still waiting for my apology but I could be waiting a long time. The board have tried to explain what they meant, that it was part of a wider picture of trying to keep the fans informed, telling them the club wanted to rebuild and strengthen, which is why prices were going up. The fact is nobody should be singled out in a letter. It wasn’t right. I felt everything was being laid at my door.” Clearly, if United can’t handle Roy Keane’s contract in an appropriate manner, what hope is there for Wes Brown?

I don’t think Brown’s complaints are to do with him being a money hungry player, rather a Manchester United player, insisting that the club give him the respect he deserves. He plays a much more important role for the club than O’Shea and has been playing for longer too. Of course he is right to expect a contract substantially better than O’Shea’s. Just imagine, you work for a company, you work hard for them, you have been loyal to them, and you are due a raise. Imagine you find out that another employee, who isn’t as good as you, who doesn’t work as hard as you, who hasn’t been at the company for as long as you, is already making similar money to what you’re being offered in the raise. You’d put up with that? Currently, the club are guilty of disrespecting Brown, despite Fergie’s claims that the offer is a good one.

Brown has kept quiet over the contract talks, rightly believing it is a private matter, rather than one he should publicly criticise the club for. Earlier this week he reiterated his desire to play for the club. “I have been here for more than 10 years and know what Gary is capable of and what he has achieved,” said Brown. “Just to come in for him all season has been perfect for me. I hope he will be fit as soon as possible and we will see what happens then. I will just continue to give it my best. I have been in and out of the side in the past, after picking up little niggles here and there. This season the captain has been out of action, and I have filled in. It is good to be playing week in, week out. You get into a routine, know what you are doing and know your position. I have been doing okay and hope I can keep the run going.”

Fergie has opted for a different approach, talking to the press several times about the contract, and more recently, blasted the role of agents in the game. “Players of today live in their agents’ pockets,” he said, a comment which isn’t going to endear himself to Wes. “Players’ agents live their lives for them and if you are happy to go along with that, you get the situation you have got just now. Wes has been with us since he was 12, but I don’t think that matters these days.”

Wes played for United three days after his father died, not wanting to let the club down. How dare Fergie question the commitment Brown has for the club. The sad thing is that Ferguson is right. He has been with the club since he was a child, but that doesn’t seem to matter to the club, and that is why they are not offering him the deal he deserves.

How do you feel about Brown’s contract?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Stephen says:

    i completely disagree and with so many different parts of your article. Brown is a good, mainly steady defender.. Nothing more.. Sometimes less when his concentration disappears..

    Wes Brown will never be a first teamer other than when players are injured/ being rested.He clearly thinks just becasue he has played this season he was become worth more.. He isn’t It’s a reasonable offer, even with the likes of JOS.

    The papers nearly always overate players salaries. Rio and the Nevilles both being examples when they renewed.

    He is worth 40k tops

    He needs us more than we need him

  2. pet says:

    He really deserves better than O’shea

  3. jimmybob says:

    I like brown and he is a good defender
    but £40 k a week is enough for anyone to live on, allied to the fact that when he has been injured and unable to play , he was still getting full pay (no ssp for him)

  4. Duncan says:

    An interesting article and refreshing viewpoint on the whole Brown saga. I’ve reading everywhere else that Brown is a greedy fool for not signing since 40,000 a week is more than enough money to survive. But when you compare such a figure to other players contracts, it does not seem so ridiculous after all. Considering Brown’s loyalty and the fact that players around him are earning more than double his wage, it seems reasonable that United should offer him a better deal.

  5. Stephen says:

    Why does he deserve more than O’shea? can’t remember Wes scoring @ Anfield I do remember him slipping over numerous and @ crucial times in games. He has played well this season and is a decent squad player but £85k a week!! And the point of being with us since he was a child not exactly a chore playing for us is it?

  6. Alastair says:

    I would say he deserves parity with O’Shea but no more – he is a squad player who has played a lot of games due to GN injury. Given all his years of injuries the club has been very loyal to Wes who has in all truth failed to live up to his early promise.

  7. austin reynolds says:

    he deserves more than oshea thats for sure. but who says that he isnt being offered more? i dont know where u got ur figures from but if they are correct i feel its a bit harsh on wes. i hope he stays. i wanted becks an ruud to leave but no wes. we need him, we didnt need becks or ruud in the end the way they were playin which is another reason to give him some more money.
    however i aint gonna criticise anyone cos i dont know the facts. he could have been offered appearance incentive payments for all i know, lets be honest he,s been more unreliable injury wise than saha is at the mo up until this season so………!

  8. Jimbo says:

    I have to say, this was fantastically wrote! I believed Wes was being a bit greedy but after reading this, I believe he deserves the payrise, even if the sums are rediculously high! SAHA OUT

  9. Eoin says:

    Nice Article changed my view on the ‘saga’

  10. Lavo says:

    Wes Brown is being treated unfairly because Ferguson knows he now has the money to buy.Wes is still a cut price at 55 thou a week.Fergie should forget about Gary and count his blessings.

  11. Ibrahim Jamil says:

    An interesting read, but missed the main point that Wes is only at a top club like United because he is a Manc. And myself being a Manc, I enjoy that the club is offering him a contract and that we can continue to develop local talent and have a similar English (if not Mancunian) core that we have posessed over the years.

    BUT, Manc or not, Wes isn’t the most talented. You can’t doubt his passion, his effort or his heart – but the club are offering him what they think he is worth.

    The article values him over O’Shea. I would put them on a par, or I’d even go as far as saying O’Shea is more valuable – being much more versatile – playing anywhere he’s asked. End of the day, when you get to these stupid figures footballers are being paid – it’s all semantics after 30,000 a week. You’re not going to starve. Wes should put pen to paper or quite frankly – he can f*ck off. He’s not worth anymore than that and he’s just holding the club to ransom. I didn’t like it when Rio did it, but at least he’s worth the money we pay him. I can’t say the same for Wes.

    I’d love to see him stay, but if he’s gotta go – then he’s gotta go.

  12. Rick says:

    I don’t think Wes is stalling the contract for a extra 10k .. If so i support him …He sure has been loyal to the club and playing the derby game when he was emotionally down showed what a true manc he is ..

    I think there are many factors which we have to consider :
    Neville will play at least one more season meaning he becomes the RB automatically.
    2 Specialized CB ready (Pique , Evans )if there is a injury to a CB meaning role of make shift CB totally out of the picture.
    7 players for Sub bench next season meaning Oshea + a CB !
    Buying a specialized RB + 2 Brazilians being groomed.
    Reports saying his agent wanted 85k .

    May be these factors plus the age went against him however i am strong supporter of Wes for the past 2 seasons .. Especially this season his contribution to the defense has been superb .. Next to Sagna he is the second best RB ..
    I do hope he stays with us because he knows what it is to be a Mancunian !

  13. Sniper says:

    I don’t change my views as easily as most people here seem to. I think Wes Brown should sign the contract, John O’Shea will play more games than Brown in an IDEAL season(with no injuries). So if JOS is the Benchmark then Wes’ been offered a contract which’s slightly less than that of JOS.

    Makes sense to me. ..and as far as Agents go, I’m not the one to comment about Brown’s agent specfically, I’m sure Fergie knows more. I think arrival of agents has done nothing good to football.Don’t believe me? Wait for Ronaldo’s Agent to open his mouth again during off-season about Real Madrid.

  14. UglyDcukling says:

    No, he doesn’t deserve more than 40k. It should be rememberer that when Wes was recuperating from his two cruciat ligerment injuries, he didn’t play for a substantial amount of time and was still being paid.

  15. Kaushalendra says:

    I just read somewhere that brown is demanding 80,000 per week. That is too much as his crosses from the right are poor. But as a defender he is solid. United doesn’t score many with brown’s overlaps but we do score more with evra’s overlaps. Jhon o Shea is versatile and would be on bench ahead of brown so he deserves 5k more than brown.

  16. Mike (ex-pat, USA) says:

    The problem is that the “folks” do not have all the facts. Was he offered 40,000 or was it 55,000? Are his demands 70.000 a week or 55,000? These differences are key to deciding whether we should feel sympathy to Wes or the club. Myself I feel that Wes is a very “good” but not exceptional player. His injuries over the years have not allowed his development into an “indisoensible” player. I think time and the real facts will show whether it’s the club being tight, or Wes being unreasonable.

  17. jsos says:

    all this “40k a week is more than enough for anyone… they won’t starve.. etc” is missing the point. its not about surviving.. you get paid to do your job. and if you found out tomorrow that your company you’ve worked for your whole life was not offering to pay you on par with people doing an equal job as you – you’d be upset as well. you might even leave. you certainly wouldnt just sign on and go about your business comforting yourself with the fact that you’re still kicking that kid at mcdonald’s ass salary wise. wake up.

  18. Sam says:

    Scott, I completely agree with you, as with the article before about Wenger.

    If Wes really is wanting 80k, though, then this changes my opinion. Whoever said we can’t really pass judgement until we know the facts was right.

  19. franky says:

    50-55k Certainly is an acceptable demand. Not more though, because then Evra, and certainly Vidic’s wages (70k) are ridiculously low compared to Wes’s. Still I do hope he will stay a Red.

  20. lol says:

    I dont have any idea why o’shea is still in the club,
    people say he plays everywhere thats why he is still here? he cant attack , in the midfield i think we got more than enough , he only only replaces evra
    when he is injured thats about the best he can do.
    if we get Lahm he can play on both sides and o’shea is out of the picture completely. knowing everything doesnt mean you can do them all better than average.

  21. Superdorz says:

    I’ve seen the £80,000 a week reports too.

    If it’s true then sorry Wez, you’re time is up!

  22. Scott the Red says:

    The £80k a week reports were in the News of the World, and then the likes of TribalFootball reprinted it. I think that is bollocks.

  23. Chris H says:

    The problem with writing about Wes’ contract situation is that all the numbers are just guesses. Has the club offered £40k a week? 50? 55? 60? And does Wes feel he’s worth £50k? 65? 80? How does he compare to O’Shea, who makes £40k? 50? 55? It’s difficult to say, and the papers throw out a new number every week. He’s entitled to want a fair wage in comparison to his teammates, and to the rest of the league, but we’re completely in the dark here. Neither the club nor the player has said what the actual figures are.

    I’d like Wes to stay, but I suppose it’s all a matter of whether he’ll accept a fair salary, and whether the club are offering one. It would be a slap in the face for Wes to serve the club for ten years, then be offered a pittance. Then again it would ridiculous for the club to stick with him throughout years of injuries and rehab, and have him come in for talks demanding an outrageous amount of money (£80k, 10 or so more than Vidic, would be a joke).

    What are the real numbers? We may never know, even after Wes has a) signed or b) moved on.

    As for David Beckham, he served the club well as a young man, but then he became something entirely different from what he had been. These days he is not a footballer. He is Brand Beckham, and the image rights you mention are more important to him than they’ve ever been to any other football player. I think he has become less and less about football over the years, and that sort of attitude is just not a good fit for our club. Let Madrid sell more shirts – where did that get them? He accomplished what he wanted to accomplish here, but by 2003, it was time to move on. Good riddance.

  24. jimmybob says:

    all this “40k a week is more than enough for anyone… they won’t starve.. etc” is missing the point. its not about surviving.. you get paid to do your job. and if you found out tomorrow that your company you’ve worked for your whole life was not offering to pay you on par with people doing an equal job as you – you’d be upset as well. you might even leave. you certainly wouldnt just sign on and go about your business comforting yourself with the fact that you’re still kicking that kid at mcdonald’s ass salary wise. wake up

    who do you know that has his dream job and earns £2m a year and wants to leave that job?
    irrespective of what others are on he is earning a fortune at £2m plus a year and he is playing for a side he loves and is winning trophies.

    Allied to the fact he will proably get a testimonial which is another £1m for him, so do us all a favour and stop making out he is hard done by

  25. fatmanwalking says:

    I do not agree with this article. Mainly because in now way is Wes a better player than O’Shea. O’Shea is much more versatile, has come in on numerous occasions in so many varied positions, and even as a defender, is better than Wes. Wes, on the other hand, regularly loses his concentration, and more or less relies on Rio’s ability to cover up for his blunders.
    So, O’Shea’s salary should in no way be a benchmark for Wes to decide his own salary.
    Apart from that, I doubt Wes is stalling the contract signing only (if at all) for the money. I think its more to do with the imminent return of Neville, which, in case it fails, will be backed up by a maturing Simpson and the Brazilian twins. Wes certainly does not have a long term future here, and personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing him leave. I mean, even from his own point of view, it’ll do his career a lot of good if he moves. He’ll atleast be assured a starting position in any other team.
    From our point of view, his departure will help blood Simpson and the twins, and put an end to this bumbling ‘saga’.

  26. spiritof1983 says:

    As much as you keep saying you are not going out of your way in supporting the individual player’s case at the expense of the club, I can’t say I find it so. The article is muddled with presumed details and selective chosen points of emphasis, omitting other relevant issues.

    I for one am not against Wes Brown in his contract negotiations as I fully understand the need to get the best deal being this his last contract negotiation before reaching the age of 30. This was the same issue with Gariel Heinze, who unfortunately tried to sell a melon in wanting a Liverpool move for so called football reasons rather than just saying it was for money and the club not exceeding to his demands. The same occurred with Thierry Henry who chose to move after only one year into his new extended contract and after saying he wouldn’t. Age 30 and last big contract is a major factor in this. In Brown leverage is the Bosman ruling that allows him to go for free and us having to fork out transfer fees plus maybe signing on fees and wages for a new target. This is presumed as we can just as easily promoted Danny Simpson or Kieron Lee to back up Gary Neville, with Brown portion of wages now allocated to the younger players, keeping payroll check.

    What can’t be disputed is that Brown has in his hands the opportunity of getting signing on fees and a higher wage package from an external club that does not have to pay transfer fees for him. Michael Ballack is a good case of squeezing the maximum out of this avenue. Brown’s agent is no doubt using this leverage.

    The club has a targeted goal of achieving wage to turnover ratio of under 50% and have as at last season done so, getting the commendable level of under 43% (Chelsea recently announced theirs at 71%!). It is right for the club to keep this long term thrift practice in mind as the basic wage earnings more than transfer fees and performance related bonuses that has the detrimental effect of spiralling and snowballing throught the playing staff. Policy is thought through and discipline in practice should be enforced.

    Brown at present isn’t being marginalised. He gets 10,000 pounds per week for every match he makes an appearance (in the papers, a reliable source as details from this article which also come from them). Whatever figure he is asking in addition has to bear in mind that his age IS INDEED about 29 and the contract on offer is for 4 YEARS in a player that in general is not a first team starter (more importantly not expected to be one in 2-3 years time) and has chronic injury record. This is in fact a long period for a person with injury record and the wages are spread over the period to give the player security, when is could have been lop to say two years at a higher wage that favours the club’s security in case of debilitating injury to Brown later on. (Only Chelsea are crazy to give Paulo Fereira a 5 year contract at this age).

    He would in fact have low resale value past 30, which is less than a years time, something that can’t be said of John O’Shea (recent rumour is that Keane wants O’Shea and is willing to pay 4 million pounds for him, as example) or Partice Evra. John O’Shea also has an element to his pay that some other players have in that he brings foreign appeal and in his case the Irish fan contingent. This contributes to turnover and hence rewarding him in return does not mesh up the wage/turnover ratio. Park Ji Sung is said to be elevated to 67, 000 pounds last season, after only one season with us is a prime example. His wage and image rights takes into consideration not just the footballing reasons but also his off pitch contribution as well as his age. I can’t comment on Evra as I was under the impression his contract negotiations are still underway and have not reached any conclusion.

    Brown being local and English has this already taken into consideration and if he is behind, it is because of his own nature being more introvert and not capitalising on his local fame to generate more for the club, that he might get more from them in return. Other like Rooney and Ferdinand etc have and are paid accordingly.

    I personally think that Brown will eventually sign and the club would compromise slightly if the repeated three offers (increases) are to be believed. If he chooses to go, I will understand both parties stand and look to the positives, meaning the opportunity to elevate the young players or get someone new, starting at a level appropriate to age, ability and injury record. It is after all part of our overall rejuvenation programme for the squad.

  27. austin reynolds says:

    glad to see most of us agree on the issue!

  28. eduardo G. Moran says:

    I agree with you entirely. I think the club should give Wes Brown the credit he deserves. He will not be earning this kind of money all his life. he has to make hay whilst the sun shines. Wes is a brilliant but gossly underestimated defender. I can’t blame him for feeling aggrieved. This is entirely a different story from the Beckham saga. I hope Sir Alec reconsiders his position. He is definitely worth the extra money he is asking for.

  29. Tom F says:

    Like it or not (United fans) Wes Brown has been a part of the Premier Leagues best defence for a year now. It makes me laugh to say he isn’t good enough for a first team place, you people are absolute jokers. He helped us win the Premiership and has helped retain this seasons best defensive record, on top of that he’s playing out of position. Yes he is no Gary Neville, but who is? Not even Scholes or Giggs lead like Nev does.
    Wesley Brown, however has disappointed me by the way that in such a close club, he has let his agent rule over him. We know how much Neville hates agents and I feel it’s a shame when a player like Brown, who has been with us for many years is stalling. At the same time, it’s got to be understood if he did want as much as some of the newer younger players. I wouldn’t want us to sign another defender only to offer him more than what Brown was offered (obviously unless he is World Class).

    Brown has been growing in performances and although he doesn’t get forward as well as Neville, he is getting a lot better. I don’t mind waiting til the close season to see where this goes.

    I don’t want Brown to leave though.

  30. denton davey says:

    I, too, think that there is a lot of posturing in these negotiations and that Wesley will re-sign when SAF decides that having a tested, journeyman back-up defender is crucial when the rubber-hits-the-road.

    Look at it this way, ACMilan are willing to pay oldies (and goodies) like Cafu to provide veteran cover because they know that in the season’s crunch-time it´s crucial to have veteran defenders who can provide cover for injuries (remember last year ?)

    Also, “replacing” someone like Wesley is an expensive proposition UNLESS these Brazilian kids can come good as fast as Anderson. Any “replacement” – like Lahm or Dani Alves – will not only command a huge transfer fee but also much, much bigger wages than Wesley.

    Plus, there’s the penny-wise/pound-foolish argument – for a gigantic merchandising operation like UTD, winning isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing. So, what’s another ten or fifteen thousand quid a week for insurance ? Remember, the club’s budget is based on an income of 250 million quid a year but IT IS FRAGILE so for a gigantic operation like ManUtd, winning has to be the paramount objective.

    It’s hard to be a consistent winner if you strip away key, proven assets and think that they can be “replaced” by the likes of Danny Simpson. It just ain’t so. The landscape has changed a lot since “winning with the kids” happened. THAT was a fluke – it hasn’t happened again.

  31. RF says:

    I was surprised by Wes Brown’s dignity in the face of all this. Many other Premier League players would have spoken out.

    Nobody can begrudge a player in his late 20s taking 1 last big contract pay cheque to safeguard his family’s future.

    His 10 + yrs, loyalty and dignity ought to be enough for ppl to give their blessings to him when he moves on.

    Give him a break.

    In the bigger scheme of things, Fergie seems to think that he has many long-term options like the Brazilian twins, Simpson. For Utd’s sake, better hope he is right.

  32. Liad says:

    I completely agree with this article. Wes Brown has been a servant to the club with utmost loyalty and passion and I disagree with many of my fellow Reds. A lot of you have voiced your opinion that he is just a bit-part player and not the most talented, absolute bullshit. Fergie once said that Wes was the most natural defender in England and I agree totally with that comment, he has all the attributes of a truly great defender. Although naturally a centre-back and a bloody good one at that, he has been playing right back the whole season for us and has done a superb job. I think that United are completely wrong by not offering him more, even if it is 60k I think he is worth it. You cannot buy the passion and connection to the club that Wes has, as good as Vidic and Ferdinand are, Wes is a brilliant player and a local lad which is a necessity in modern day as many clubs just buy good players and disregard the homegrown talent.
    Good on you Wes, I hope you get what you deserve and stay with us for ages

  33. Tony Bee says:

    Fuck him pay them all less the greedy fuckers

  34. tony tfe says:

    He plays a much more important role for the club than O’Shea and has been playing for longer too. Of course he is right to expect a contract substantially better than O’Shea’s. Just imagine, you work for a company, you work hard for them, you have been loyal to them, and you are due a raise. Imagine you find out that another employee, who isn’t as good as you, who doesn’t work as hard as you, who hasn’t been at the company for as long as you, is already making similar money to what you’re being offered in the raise. You’d put up with that
    This is the same situtaion tevez was facing when berbtov arrived


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