Reports over the weekend claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo was about to be offered a deal worth £200,000 to keep his eye on United and away from Real Madrid. Of course, it’s just crappy tabloid stuff, but often there is no smoke without fire.
Whilst there’s no denying what a talented player he is and what a positive effect he has on our results, to see any of our players bringing in close to £1 million a month is absolutely crazy. At present, Robinho is the best paid player in this league, needing £160,000 a week to convince him to join the bitters at Wastelands. Chelsea captain, John Terry, brings in £135,000 a week, whilst his team mate, and Chelsea’s most effective player, earns around £150,000 a week. Liverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, earns £120,000 a week, £5,000 more a week than our next highest player after Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney.
So why the fuck should Ronaldo be given £200,000 a week?
The reasoning behind it is simple. United want to convince Ronaldo in any way possible to shun a move to Real Madrid, who of course will come in for him again this summer. Whilst they were will be able to offer him more than this reported sum, United are banking on the idea that staying in a place that he has made his home over the past six years, as well as the great potential to win more trophies, will be enough to bridge the difference in salary.
Firstly, I think United would be kidding themselves to think this increased wage would be enough to keep Ronaldo away from Real Madrid, even if in the short term. Whilst earning so much more than anyone else at the club would obviously flatter his ego, essentially, he wants to go to Spain and he always has done. It’d ridiculous to think that more money from United (which would still be less than he’d earn with Real) would sway his decision.
Secondly, the effect it would have on the rest of the squad would be totally detrimental. Why should Rooney, for example, earn £340,000 less a month than Ronaldo? What does this say to Rooney about how we value him? Yeh, you’re important to us Wayne, but nowhere near as important to us as Ronaldo.
When Ronaldo is having a bad month, or a bad couple of months, what effect is that going to have on the in-form players in the dressing room, who earn less than a quarter of what he does?
Essentially, if a player needs to be persuaded to stay at United by ridiculous amounts of money, then it’s time they left. There doesn’t need to be anger or resentment about it. We can thank Ronaldo for the great years he’s given up, for the success he’s helped us achieve, and wish him well in the future. No more ‘God only knows’ bullshit. If he wants to stay, then he should stay. If he wants to leave, then he should leave. His current contract doesn’t expire until 2012, so all the cards are in our hands. But don’t bloody offer him £200,000 a week!
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.