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Ferguson turns heat on Rooney

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Phil McNulty | 14:46 UK time, Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Sir Alex Ferguson staged a compulsive drama at "The Theatre Of Dreams" as he claimed every inch of Manchester United's moral high ground to hang Wayne Rooney out to dry.

Ferguson, consumate politician and manipulator that he is, left the door ajar for Rooney to pull back from his desire to leave Old Trafford - but it is impossible to see how the relationship can survive the Scot's gripping full disclosure on Tuesday.

In measured, passionate tones Ferguson painted a damning picture of a player who he clearly believes is misguided, selfish, ungrateful and had shown a lack of respect for his club and manager.

Rooney did not get Ferguson's famous hairdryer treatment for his insubordination. The words were delivered more in the manner of a surgeon's scalpel, but the damage to the player's reputation and standing in the eyes of supporters was devastating.

Ferguson looked and sounded genuinely hurt and - in his own words - "bemused" at the turn of events that has seen the player he had placed at the centre of United's future demand to leave. There was, at times, genuine sadness on his face and in his voice.

It is a stunning story and this was an impressive and brutally honest performance by Ferguson that leaves Rooney and his powerful representative Paul Stretford with ground to make up if the striker still wishes to be painted as the innocent victim of Ferguson's dictatorial style.

Ferguson drew a careful timeline of events that moved through the early optimistic stages of contract talks and Rooney's willingness to stay at United up to 14 August when, after a disappointing World Cup, chief executive David Gill left him "dumbfounded" with the fateful phone call informing him that his finest player wished to leave.

Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson

A disappointed Sir Alex Ferguson addressed a packed news conference on Tuesday. Photo: AFP

In the time it took him to complete his media briefing ahead of Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Bursaspor, Ferguson snatched the agenda and momentum away from Rooney and Stretford to portray United as the injured parties. And he did it with great conviction.

In this case it may be true, but there may not be too many tears shed for Ferguson because he was only too happy to be the beneficiary when Rooney's relationship with David Moyes and Everton broke down six years ago and Stretford brokered his £27m move to Old Trafford.

There might just be a sense of "what goes around comes around" at more than one club in the world at Rooney pulling the rug out from under Ferguson.

Ferguson's version of events places huge pressure on Rooney to give his own explanation of how it has come to this - not something likely to mend fences between player and club.

The list of charges laid against Rooney by Ferguson in his compulsive press conference is guaranteed to turn the vast majority of Manchester United supporters against the player they have idolised from the day he arrived at the club.

Ferguson also hit back with a contradiction of Rooney's claim that he had not been carrying an ankle injury.

He outlined how United had acted as a safety net for Rooney's combustible personality at all times in his career when he stated: "We've done nothing but help him. I don't know how many times we've helped him in terms of his private life and other matters."

And there was no disguising Ferguson's contempt and disappointment when he rejected out of hand claims there had been a breakdown in his own personal relationship with Rooney, as he said: "I have never had any argument with Wayne Rooney at any time."

Ferguson then reeled off what he regards as the unique allure of Manchester United with an almost quizzical look as he searched for one good reason why his greatest talent would want to leave.

"We have won 40 major trophies, countless cup finals, have a fantastic history, a great stadium, great training arrangements," he said.

"We don't understand it. I can't answer any questions about why he is doing it. We can speculate. We can have opinions. It won't matter a dickie-bird, simply because the player is adamant he wants to leave."

And leave he will unless Ferguson and Rooney can somehow apply a fix to this broken relationship, a far distant prospect given the story that unfolded in such fine detail in front of an enthralled audience at Old Trafford.

Ferguson's greatest frustration will lie not just in the damage Rooney's departure will do to his squad, but in the fact that events have slipped out of his control. The idea of planning for more silverware without Rooney had clearly never crossed his mind until he picked up the phone to Gill in August.

There was, despite the tentative offering of an olive branch, a grim expression of resignation on Ferguson's face as he admitted Rooney was in no mood to change his mind.

It was one of the most significant public performances of Ferguson's career, and he will no doubt succeed in ensuring the weight of Old Trafford's support is thrown behind him and his players rather than the disaffected and out-of-sorts striker.

Ferguson was making the best of a bad job as he sat in front of the battery of cameras, microphones and the world's media - and to a large extent he succeeded.

But the reality is that United must now change their equation for success to cope without the stellar star, and his potential departure seriously weakens the strength at Ferguson's disposal.

United have managed to compensate for the loss of players in the past, but this time those left behind if Rooney goes do not look equipped to challenge for the major trophies.

Ferguson cannot afford to let matters lie and trust in his squad, as he effectively did when he raked in £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in summer 2009.

He admitted recently United might have to stretch themselves in the next two years to cover the retirement of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, but finding a replacement for Rooney is another challenge altogether.

Ferguson says United are not operating under financial restrictions, despite announcing a pre-tax loss of £80m, and the names of potential successors to Rooney were already floating around Old Trafford as Ferguson spoke.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is a player he has always admired - and dare he try to regain lost ground and test Liverpool's resolve to keep Fernando Torres by arriving at the gates of Anfield armed with cash from the sale of Rooney?

Rooney, for his part, needs to find a club to accommodate his football and financial needs. Easier said than done in the current climate.

Barcelona are on an economy drive, Real Madrid's Jose Mourinho backed Ferguson to persuade Rooney to stay (although that was before his public revelations) while Chelsea appear interested observers as opposed to serious contenders for his signature.

All roads lead not very far from Old Trafford - to Eastlands and Manchester City. They have the money, the will and the ambition to go all the way in pursuit of Rooney. And the fact that he is the biggest name, apart from the manager, at Manchester United makes him an almost irresistible attraction.

Old Trafford will no doubt noisily declare its backing for Ferguson on Wednesday, and the manager will use Rooney's discontent as a weapon to fire up the entire club.

The next move is Rooney's - in more ways than one.

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Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    Rooney has stolen the wheels off Sir Alex's sharabang?

  • Comment number 2.

    There might not be tears shed for Ferguson, but Rooney has also betrayed the United fans. Managers come and go (even Ferguson, the most successful manager in United's history), but the fans are the lifeblood of the club.

    Listen to the boos, Wayne, and see your actions reflected in them. The fans put you on a pedestal - you were the embodiment of their passion for the club. You were described as the manager's manifestation on the pitch, but in truth you represented the hearts and souls of thousands. Listen to the boos, Wayne, and ask yourself many, many questions.

  • Comment number 3.

    Ah well. Its a pity that this washing is done out in the middle. In terms of this whole issue, my first issue was to liken it to the corporate world. What would the company do if you as an employee did something naughty and bring disrepute to the organisation. Most likely, you would get fired. This being sports - there is more room for (im)morality.

    Fergie has played the politics very cleverly. I'm sure that there is more to this story than what Fergie said today. If he truly believed that Rooney could be persuaded, this discussion would not have happened like this.

    All I can say to United supporters is (i'm one too) - we can feel disappointed. But let us not now start abusing Rooney in the reminder of his playing days whatever much there is left.

    I just hope - he is not sold to Citeh

  • Comment number 4.

    Phil, I think the big question is how much money will United get for him, if he does indeed go. How much will clubs be willing to pay for a player with 18 months left to run on his contract. Personally I cant see a club paying much more than £30M for Rooney, given his contract situation and I can't see him being sold to City or Chelsea, it's club policy not to sell to rivals. Remember the Gabriel Heinze and Liverpool affair? I think the serious contenders for his signature are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan. How much do you think he will go for if he goes in January?

  • Comment number 5.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 6.

    This bloke creates his own problems. Off you go Rooney (to a foreign club please) and close the door behind you.

  • Comment number 7.

    Shocking lack of loyality from Rooney which apitamises the modern day footballer. He is completely disconnected from reality.

    Clever move from Fergie which will galvanise all at OT!

  • Comment number 8.

    You can't compare this situation to Stam, beckham, keane etc because rooney is just 24 with potentially his best years ahead of him rather than behind him.

    As a Chelsea fan, i think he would be more than welcome at the bridge, though can't really see it happening. i could see him going to man city for logistical reasons, though not to barca cos of messi, villa etc though maybe madrid who are looking for another striker.

    As for sir alex, i don't think he's got any control over this situation, if he had his way, there would be NO Way rooney would be leaving.

  • Comment number 9.

    Fans and the press can say what they like about this whole episode. The only fact worth thinking about is that Rooney is gonna be a huuuuuge loss. Perhaps no player is bigger than the club, but I'd like to see any names being thrown in the hat that could have as much influence as this boy can.

  • Comment number 10.

    Forgot to mention, I'm an Arsenal and not a Man U fan.

  • Comment number 11.

    Good luck, Wayne, you're going to need it.

  • Comment number 12.

    I bet Coleen has given him an ultimatum. Either we move or I leave you.

  • Comment number 13.

    Its a sign of the times we live in that people think Rooney 'owes' them an explanation. No he doesn't.

    He has decided to leave and may not want to share the reasons, and that is certainly his right. Just becuase you want to know, doesn't give you a right to know.

    Always find it strange when football clubs talk about the player owing them something. Why? Could you not argue he's already given what he owes, that is his play on the pitch (You could argue he owes them another 18 months - the remainder of his contract - but then United would get nothing for him). Or are we just going to accept the new view of United fans that he wasn't very good anyway and not an important part of the team.

    Revisionist history is fun, isn't it. After the flak from media and rival supporters regarding my club for a while now, I'm enjoying this quite a lot.

  • Comment number 14.

    Goodbye Wayne, take your ungratefulness away from the greatest football club in the World.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think it is harsh to assume that the move is primarily driven by Rooney's desire for money, even if that is what we all think will ultimately emerge as his main concern.

    If Rooney goes to Man Utd it will be the biggest power shift in World Football. Like Athletico getting a Sheik investor and buying Iker Casillas. I can't see his attitude cutting it in La Liga if this'll how he behaves. The pros over there will rip him to shreds (although Ramos seems to like a bevvy).

    My third point is, "who else could have influenced the situation?"

    Sir Alex: I wouldn't think so. Fergies's candour and demeanour in his ensuing interviews make me think Rooney isn't the victim here.

    His Agent: Commission off of a huge transfer fee (January Prices to City?) plus a wedge of every 200k + weekly wage would be enough to make me put the heat on my client.

    Coleen Rooney: Remember Beckham? You think Madrid- Hollywood- New Year in Italy was his idea? Coleen could have dropped the bomb that she will stay, but they have to move. Pure Conjecture of course. (it's easy to dream this up when Eastenders is on)

    Ultimately I think it is a great disservice to Sir Alex, Man Utd andd their fans.....Does this mean he won't be at Ibrox. :)

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    It will be sad to see him go, but it looks as though that is what will happen. For his sake I hope it is frustration at the fact that there wasn't any big name signings during the summer and not greed that is his reason for leaving. He'll struggle to find a better club for him.

    As far as a replacement goes, I reckon that Torres might be ripe for picking soon :-)

  • Comment number 18.

    Well analysed Phil. Rooneey to ManCity in January will be very interesting, and if he and Tevez get Sheik the premiership this season. How will Ferguson react ?? All very interesting !!

  • Comment number 19.

    im really let down by Rooney, he was my favourite player at unietd even when Ronaldo was here, and i knew he'll leave to real one day but i didn't expected Rooney not to leave us but he looks like hes on his way

    but one thing for sure, if he does end up saying we'll forgive him. Hope he stays though.

    it'll be sad if he leaves :(, he really let us down

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    The only winners can be United. Rooney is the physical type that matures early. From his mid-20s on he'll be in a constant battle to keep his weight down. If he fails he'll be too slow to play at the top level. If he succeeds he won't have the energy he had in his youth and hence will be unable to play at the top level.

  • Comment number 22.

    Should have been a 606, now we gotta wait hours for the undermanned bbc mods to ok our posts.

    You shouldn't have hogged this one Phil, this is not for you but a discussion for fans expecially with your lfc affiliation.

    Knew he was off in the summer, Wayne is sick of the media, spains media do not behave in the same ay or the Italian media, so he's had enough, good luck wayne what ever you choose, an lfc fan.

  • Comment number 23.

    4. At 7:27pm on 19 Oct 2010, Zidane_10 wrote:
    Phil, I think the big question is how much money will United get for him, if he does indeed go. How much will clubs be willing to pay for a player with 18 months left to run on his contract. Personally I cant see a club paying much more than £30M for Rooney, given his contract situation and I can't see him being sold to City or Chelsea, it's club policy not to sell to rivals. Remember the Gabriel Heinze and Liverpool affair? I think the serious contenders for his signature are Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan. How much do you think he will go for if he goes in January?

    This is good point and one that is lost on the United fans spouting off about 50+million for Rooney. Why would any club pay that? He's only got 18 months left on the contract and clearly wants to leave. The only club who will perhaps bid stupid money is City (just to get one over on their old enemy).

    Not sure he couldn't go to City though. I think the days of not selling to rivals may be over as United need the cash and the Glazers won't care about fan sentiment (the mancs have already burnt all those bridges).

  • Comment number 24.

    I'm amazed that this story is getting so much coverage given:

    We all all know that NO player is bigger than the club.

    Rooney is not "Mr Man Utd" in the same way that David Beckham was, or a long serving player as was Roy Keane.

    Rooney was always going to bring shame on Man Utd.

    Man Utd were always going to recoup the transfer fee they paid Everton with interest.

    If I were Man Utd I'd let him go - They have had his best years, and by next year, another player will become the darling of Old Trafford, and this saga long forgotten.

  • Comment number 25.

    To be honest, I can't imagine why he wants to go. However, if he really is adamant that he wants to go, he must first evaluate potential destinations:

    1. Barcelona - David Villa/Pedro/Messi/ will all create and get goals; do they need him?

    2. Real Madrid - Undoubtedly would be able to raise the money should they really want to, but with Ronaldo, Kaka, Di Maria, Ozil and Higuain at their disposal (never mind the Special One!) do they need him either?

    3. Chelsea - Can't envisgae this happening as I think Ferguson will be reluctant to see him move to a rival club, which brings me to the only other viable option...

    4. Manchester City - Whilst this may contradict my previous opinion - would it be so surprising to see him end up at Eastlands? Their vast resources mean they can easily tempt the Glazer's into selling.

    As a Manchester United fan, 'dumbfounded' is the one word that epitomises my thoughts...

    Good luck to him though.

  • Comment number 26.

    'But the reality is that United must now change their equation for success to cope without the stellar star'
    Pretty sure 'stellar' implies that he is a star, you've repeated yourself there. Good performance from SAF at the press conference today. I'm bewildered too- yes Rooney's been in in bad form but why would that mean he would want to leave the club which had catapulted him into worldwide superstardom? United aren't exactly struggling, he is (was) a fan favourite, United will be challenging for top honours again- something is afoot here. My guess is that there has been some personal disagreement between manager and player, because you don't quit a club like Manchester United on a whim.

  • Comment number 27.

    Everyone says that there is no player bigger than a club. But you have to think that Neville, Giggs and Scholes will be finishing next year. Either one of the two centre backs will go too to refresh the rearguard line as well. So Rooney must have contemplated where the finances will come from. Certainly not a profit-greedy bunch of Americans who have not really invested much into the club yet (not on a level of Man City or Chelsea). So I think it is his right to want to leave the club. The only question I have is why Sir Alex knew in August and didn't cash in there and then?! Surely this will have more damaging effects on Manchester United - and I do doubt that he will go in January, as the team which buys him will have to rebuild their team around him... and in January that is far too risky.

  • Comment number 28.

    This whole story reeks of Rooney basically holding out for more money elsewhere, pure and simple. I'd wager thats why SAF has taken the decision to put all the responsibility fair and square on Rooneys doorstep. Face the facts, Yaya Toure gets £220k per week at City and Rooney currently gets (only) £90k as the star player at Utd. I'd bet he says to himself, "I've played 2 world cups, I have a league winners and Champions league medal. I fancy some of what Toure, Ronaldo and beckham get paid from football?" His loyalty obviously does not lie with Ferguson and Man u but instead with his agent Paul Stretford. That in itself should tell you its all about money...

  • Comment number 29.

    I think Rooney needs to get his side of the story out - and quickly. Otherwise, he will forever be the villain in the piece.

    Rooney could easily say that Tevez was sold and not replaced. Next season Ronaldo was sold and not replaced. The summer just gone didn't see united get anyone of any stature and maybe Rooney has had enough.

    WIth him off form or not playing, united may very well be the next of the old 'big four' that fails to qualify for champions league football this season.

    I doubt very much it is simply about the wage packet. There has to be another reason and I am guessing that Rooney wants to be in a position to win trophies and feels that, at united, that is no longer the case.

  • Comment number 30.

    Just a casual observation here Mr Mcnulty, but you do seem to write alot of blogs on the demise of Manchester United. There are definately more clubs than just your beloved Liverpool and their fiercest rivals in the Premier League I believe. I understand that Rooney potentially leaving Man Utd is the biggest story of the day/week/month, but it would be lovely if you could ever write atleast one blog that doesn't hide your contempt of anything and everything Manchester United, especially Sir Alex Ferguson.
    If you instead focused your energy on writing about other teams and news items within the football world with abit of research and nouse behind it, then maybe these message boards wouldn't hold so much contempt for the subjects in your articles.
    Kind Regards,

  • Comment number 31.

    If only others could expect as 'fair' an appraisal as Ferguson from this blogger.

  • Comment number 32.

    Odd day to be a United fan, I've been genuinely bothered by the Roo's discontent over the last few months, he's just not looked himself. Then this, as big a betrayal as I've known as a red.

    How Rooney can just turn around and say he wants out after so clearly telling the world that he couldn't think of any reason he'd ever leave is beyond me, and obviously beyond Fergie, but Rooney's forgotten one thing.

    No player is EVER bigger than the club.

  • Comment number 33.

    Ferguson seems genually gutted and upset about this whole thing. Can tell in his voice he's clearly just down beat on this whole situation.

    Whats actually gone on in the back room to make Rooney change his mind in a matter of months to be at the best club in the world, to leave?

    Is it genuinally a change of a heart? Is it to better himself in a different asepct of the game abroad? Or is it Collen??

    I feel for Ferguson this time..

  • Comment number 34.

    History tells us that in 5 years time, we will be looking back at another masterstroke by Sir Alex.

  • Comment number 35.

    "I think Rooney needs to get his side of the story out - and quickly. Otherwise, he will forever be the villain in the piece"

    How will he be the villain of the piece? For turning the tables on Ferguson at the very moment when he needs his superstar the most, with the weight of almost £1bn in debts drowning the club?

    Who couldn't think of Rooney as anything other than a hero?

    What do you mean, 'Man Utd fans'? Who gives a monkeys about them? They turned on him like starving dogs when the news broke.

    What an unedifying end to this unsavoury dynasty.

  • Comment number 36.

    As a neutral fan, this is a fairly shocking development, but what is most shocking is the length and honesty of the press conference. Given what ferguson has said, I'm of the opinion that it will be very hard for the two to work together and for Rooney to play for united again - he's in poor form as it is, and i can only imagine that he's now likely to suffer a verbal backlash in the next few home games.

    The thing is though, it's now October. United are going to have a clearly unhappy player on the books, and now the fan's won't like him either, and I can only think this is going to unsettle other players, but they're stuck together for the next 2 months at least. And then given those circumstances, and the lack of time left on his contract, and his poor form / injury problems how can united possibly hope to get a massive fee for him?

    And then if he does go in the January window, with the exception of money's no object City, most clubs won't want to buy then, but selling him would weaken United and strengthen a rival. But then again, who could they bring into replace Rooney in the January transfer window - no rival team will want to sell!!???

    So all in all, I think this is going to massively unsettle United's season, and when they're squad is looking vulnerable anyway, could this potentially mean they are the club that misses out on a top 4 place - something i really didn't expect to happen?!

  • Comment number 37.

    bye wayne, dont forget who made you what you are today, dont forget who gave you 3 premier league medals, a champions league winners medal, a world club medal and 2 league cup medals.

    ungrateful, greedy, unloyal - never words i thought we would be saying about wayne rooney and his time at old trafford.
    if you want to stay, come out and say it before its to late, because the majority of fans already want you gone.

  • Comment number 38.

    Very very sad day. But I expect Wayne wants out for footballing reasons- he wants to be winning trophies, and frankly this squad as it stands is not going to contend for silverware. For one thing, the gaffer should never never have let Tevez go- I said it then (as did thousands of MU fans) and of course its obvious to all now. As well, any team built around Paul Scholes at this stage in his career is not going to win medals. Scholes is way too one-dimensional a player these days- yes he's a good passer but thats it. The way its going you can envision a day when he'll be sat in midfield in a wheelchair kicking passes out to the flanks- and still drawing yellow cards.

    No matter what goofiness you may or may not have got up to in your personal life Wayne we love you, you have provided many many moments of absolute brilliance and inspiration...and fantastic entertainment.. and like I said, just a sad day.

  • Comment number 39.

    What is interesting is that SAF press conference and his interview in MUTV were very similar (more or less like word for word) for my liking. It looks like it was heavily scripted and he had practised it several times.

    I dont think we are being provided with the full picture. There definitely is more to the story.

  • Comment number 40.

    It looks like there are probably lots of reasons as why rooney wants to leave. If its partly to do with the lack of quality signings, then its yet another negative that has come from the glazer takeover. I suspect his personal problems have made him think that he needs to get away. But where? Only a handful of clubs can afford his wages but its a desperate situation united find themselves in. Strange to think only a couple of years ago rooney, ronaldo and tevez were the attack and now it looks like they're all going to be gone only 3 years later. Very impressed with fergie though. Was surprisingly honest and open, altho sure rooney has a different perspective, and will get the fans behind him who will definitely get on rooney's back.

  • Comment number 41.

    At the end of the day he had made his decision which I think will bite him on the arse he obviously isn't thinking straight. We will move on just as we always do and use the money to buy another great player city may have money but they have no history there is no way he's going there. Can't see him moving to england defo a fresh start abroad. Well we certainly won't miss him this season he has been a drain on the team the sooner he goes the sooner the rebuilding of the team starts. Good times ahead!!

  • Comment number 42.

    I have to say, I was a big fan of your blog until recently, and this puts the 'icing on the cake' for me. That is an amazingly sensationalist headline, driven from the journalistic bias against SAF for his uncompromising stance towards your membership where you insist that it is important that we need to know the lengths you have to go to to get your 'pound of flesh'. This story is no more than a lad with massive earnings potential wanting away from an employer for whatever reasons he cares to give. I have no doubt that Mr Rooney will indicate his reasons in due course, having had all statements vetted, checked again, and sent through PR departments so that the press elite have little to create a scandal about.

    In this article you have painted Manchester United as Communist dictators, and Mr. Rooney as a want-away missfit that should consider himself told off, and for some reason, must express to the press his reasons for his decision. Personally, as a football supporter, I would wish that Mr. Rooney would keep his thoughts to himself as SAF has requested or he will damage a standing institution of our beautiful game. Given the circus we have seen with Liverpool, the last thing we need is another individual/s bringing to its knees a footballing institution.

    To say 'hang Wayne Rooney out to dry' is unbelievably misguided. He was simply correcting statements over Mr. Rooneys so-called 'no' injury nonsense.

    The bottom line is that Mr. Rooney thinks he can ply his trade better somewhere else. SAF will sell rather than have a player that is not committed. There is no major story here other than, quite possibly, media pressure has driven the lad abroad. A sad indightment of the british attitude towards its brightest stars.

    And as for this blog, it is starting to shroud the facts in a sensationalistic attempt to drive web traffic. no more for me phil.

  • Comment number 43.

    Ronaldo will be missed a hell of a lot more than rooney. Heard they are still good mates!?

  • Comment number 44.

    The present Man U is destined to failure this season. Rooney wants out because he can sense this & realises that without great players around him he is not so brilliant himself. His value will fall along with his power to earn revenue from advertising. There are only a few clubs rich or silly enough to pay the fee that Man U would demand. It appears his wife does not want to live abroad so Man C is his only option. Time will tell.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    I completely understand Rooney wanting to move on ! Utd. have always been a stepping stone for good players to find a big club (Ronaldo etc ......) !

    The best ending to this story would be for Rooney to join Man. City , Fergie to retire , & for the sad little Utd. fans to discover better quality football ! Wolves for example !

  • Comment number 47.

    It's becoming increasingly clear that Mancheester United cannot compete with the big clubs.

  • Comment number 48.

    This represents a great opportunity to throw all the sound bites we’ve been hearing from a large % of Utd fans back at them

    Sign of your “Inevitable Decline”

    Highlights how much Cite “Are now the biggest club in your City”

    And my personal favourite leaves a squad “Mediocre at best”

    That’s ok though because your much vaunted “Youth System” and “ Greater Spending Power” will surely help.

    However think it would be much better to focus on the fact that if you have Owners that bleed a club dry, then it eventually affects players mentality, that affects the team and ultimately regardless of the manager in place, things decline.

    Glazers out


  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    ungrateful, greedy, unloyal - never words i thought we would be saying about wayne rooney and his time at old trafford.


    And one of those isn't even a word!!!

  • Comment number 51.

    i'll be disappointed but not surprised if this ends badly, Rooney did not treat everton with much respect and his behaviour with Moyes was contemptible. If it is over money then sod him, if it is over ambition sod him, he's won more trophies than most players will in a career. if it's the media hounding, well then he's not getting less anywhere else.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am amazed at the vitriol towards Rooney. It is clear to outsiders and surely United fans that don't have their blinkers on that United have been going downhill for A while.

    Rooney has seen both Ronaldo and Tevez go without being replaced. He sees the weary legs of Giggs and Scholes being asked for one more season out of tired and aging legs. There is only so long that they can continue to "give one more for the Gipper".

    United are a team in transition and if the stories re finaces are correct they aren't far behind Liverpool in the rush to refinancing / administration.

    Let us think about this logically. Rooney is 24. His next contract due to start in 2012 should be his big contract to set him up. Maybe a five year contract at his peak. It is important that he makes the right decision.

    A few posters have alluded to Rooney's domestic situation and it is surely not beyond the bounds of possibility that Colleen has indeed put her foot down and demanded a move away from Wayne's "mates" in Manchester and demanded a me or United decision from him.

    A few posters have stated United must sell in January. If I was Rooney I wouldn't put in a transfer request and I'd sit it out till the 1st of July Wayne can wander up to Old Trafford and hand over a cheque for five million to buy out the last year of his contract and United will get nothing. Don't believe me? Just check out the Webster rule.

    How much more joy would Wayne have to pay back Fergie by handing over that cheque then picking up a bigger signing on fee from somewhere else and a huge boost in wages.

    As for Torres coming to United dream on! Why would he want to leave one cluib in crisis for another. If Torres comes to Manchester he will keep straight on past Old Trafford into the centre of the City heading towards Eastlands.

  • Comment number 53.

    The way things were going for Rooney the last six months it was no surprise that this has happened. But I am surprised, I couldn't see him playing for another club other than united. The question is where does he go next? Barca wouldn't want him because of the cost and his of his of field reputation, Madrid are more likely candidates but will Rooney be better than Higuain, Ronaldo and Benzemma? Besides, my understanding is that they are interested in Savilla's Luis Fabiano. The rest of the Spannish league couldn't afford him or even interest him. The only real contenders for his signature outside the EPL are inter. But even in the EPL there is only one club that would be willing to pay his wages, and fee and that's man city.

  • Comment number 54.

    35. At 8:02pm on 19 Oct 2010, CoalitionOfTheWilting wrote:
    "I think Rooney needs to get his side of the story out - and quickly. Otherwise, he will forever be the villain in the piece"

    How will he be the villain of the piece? For turning the tables on Ferguson at the very moment when he needs his superstar the most, with the weight of almost £1bn in debts drowning the club?

    Who couldn't think of Rooney as anything other than a hero?

    What do you mean, 'Man Utd fans'? Who gives a monkeys about them? They turned on him like starving dogs when the news broke.

    What an unedifying end to this unsavoury dynasty.

    This is a brilliant post.

  • Comment number 55.

    38. At 8:04pm on 19 Oct 2010, diggsgiggs wrote:
    Very very sad day. But I expect Wayne wants out for footballing reasons- he wants to be winning trophies, and frankly this squad as it stands is not going to contend for silverware. For one thing, the gaffer should never never have let Tevez go- I said it then (as did thousands of MU fans) and of course its obvious to all now. As well, any team built around Paul Scholes at this stage in his career is not going to win medals. Scholes is way too one-dimensional a player these days- yes he's a good passer but thats it. The way its going you can envision a day when he'll be sat in midfield in a wheelchair kicking passes out to the flanks- and still drawing yellow cards.

    No matter what goofiness you may or may not have got up to in your personal life Wayne we love you, you have provided many many moments of absolute brilliance and inspiration...and fantastic entertainment.. and like I said, just a sad day.

    And this, the only honest post I've seen from a Manc all day. Bravo to you sir.

  • Comment number 56.

    Remember what Rooney spends his disposable income on. Remember what a foulmouth he is. Remember his rant at England fans in the summer. and most of all remember that Ferguson still supported him. I am disappointed in football more than anything else. The game continues to sell its soul. Rooney, Terry, Cole, Barton, Bowyer and many more - managers still buy these players and clubs still pay them enormous wages. They should be sacked and never employed by a football club again. Sadly Rooney will probably double his disposable income in January!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    Genuinly shocked at this news, i thought Rooney was United through and through judging by some of his previous goal celebrations against many of Uniteds big rivals. I dont even see where he will be able to go..

    Celsea and City - are big NO's not that United would sell to them but i feel even Rooney in his current situation would not do that to the fans who have idolised him for the past 6yrs.

    Barca - DONT NEED HIM.

    Real - possible however i feel his attute and competative agression wouldnt work in Spain.

    Inter - who would want to work with Benitez?!

    AC - declining force in Europe.

    United will continue with or with out Rooney but the next few seasons will be much easier with him, Fergie knows what hes doing though, regardless of how much i enjoy seeing Rooney play for United the team comes first!

  • Comment number 58.

    Rooney's strategy is driven totally by money and his off field issues which means he is damaged goods in the eye's of the corporate world.

    He will look to make up the sponsorship shortfall by signing on for City, and giving his salary a huge boost in the process.

    This is modern football, but United cannot play the victim, many many times we have used our financial power to buy players, the fact we are nt the biggest fish in the pond means we must adjust,regroup and come back stronger. My concern will be that Fergie's retirement will be brought forward by what he obvisouly perceives as a personal afront.

    Thanks Wayne, good luck & make a quiet exit asap.

  • Comment number 59.

    As a lifelong United supporter United have become a joke, no wonder he wants to leave. They were the richest club in the world, until they were sold to the highest bidder who had to jack up the prices to keep the loan sharks at bay.

    Put simply, he can make more money elsewhere. He was an Everton fan and a star before he arrived - he owes them no loyalty above serving his contract or allowing the sale.

    United have made it clear they aren't big spenders anymore, buy cheap young players, make sure you have a player from each of the major countries to keep the marketing appeal.

    Imagine it all from a banking point of view. An American tycoon borrows $700M from JP Morgan at high interest, racks up all the prices and syphons off the money into JP Morgan investment portfolios.

  • Comment number 60.

    I got a shock bout rooney but to be honest he hasnt been on tip top shape i think he will go to real or city probably real but it would be strange to see ye olde manchester derby.I feel sorry for my pal cos he is a die hard rooney fan and he will be dissapointed in him but these things happen just like becks. Well if real got rooney they'd maybe get benzema in return but i'll see ya later bye.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    "United have managed to compensate for the loss of players in the past, but this time those left behind if Rooney goes do not look equipped to challenge for the major trophies."

    I remember when Cantona Retired on a high note and I thought how are they going to replace him (arguably a bigger player in the team than Rooney)

    2 years later they won the Treble.

    Van nistelrooy is another arguably a better striker than Rooney he left and we won the Champions League again (ok Chelsea Lost it)

    Whether the doom mongers like it or not Fergie finds a way and he will again, sure its a big loss but If he has any funds i'm sure they will be getting spent and UTD will be fine.

    Its one player but Football is a team game.

    This is a money situation, obviously Rooney has been made promises.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    Nice blog Phil , Been supporting United for almost two decades now and because it such a big club every time a star player leaves there is always such drama. Personally am a bit sad because I liked Rooney and the lad gave us a lot of great moments but everything has an ending. Man United is not Rooney and Rooney is who he is today because of MAN UTD and its a fact.

    We survived When far greater players left the club and we will do well without Wayne too. To be honest am excited because after our recent successes it is time for a change. Really looking forward for a new era without Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney.

    Many people (anti-United) will be amused by what is happening but a big organization and club like Man United will continue to progress and be successful, Glory MAN UTD :-)

  • Comment number 65.

    As an Everton supporter, this all has a horrible an air of déjà vu about it. Looking forward to the windfall, though.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    Does Ferguson really expect us to believe that he has known since August that Rooney wanted to leave, but still doesn't know why in October ? Man. City have to be the first to beat United's door down - this would really put one over on their rivals. I can't see Rooney going abroad; but, in all other respects, it looks like the Beckham scenario all over again.

  • Comment number 68.

    #46 - Get away ya chelsea fan, you still haven't won the big one.
    If rumour is correct Roman could be next to pack his bags, as his toy didn't work out, he's not the richest anymore and lost 30% of his wealth in the economy. One of the oldest teams in the premier league to boot.

  • Comment number 69.

    I am gutted - I'm not going to say otherwise.

    We will see what sort of man he truely is with his attitude (at least ronaldo has the grace to leave us with a huge payment) and choice of club - personally I can see him being in bitter blue all to soon. If he does it'll be interesting to see his reaction if he scores against us. For as much as I liked him I never cared for his reaction to everton fans.

    But what is done is done and we need to look to the future and youth (as we're clearly skint!).

    I hope no one else starts booing him (i shan't be) as it will give him some kind of menatl justification in his head.

  • Comment number 70.

    When was the last time Rooney scored a goal from open play? March?

    He had an ignominious end to the previous season, a horrible World Cup and he has started this season in exactly the same manner; goalless.

    Unless things turn around soon, we might find that Rooney is not worth as much as everyone seems to think. That being the case, I'd flog Rooney very quickly; January. As to his long term future, I don't have a great deal of optimism. Rooney is a dense, moody, emotionally immature player and once away from the confines of Old Trafford, he may find that life is not as rosy as he thought. I don't think he has the professionalism of a Beckham and he'll struggle in a foreign league where the culture and language are different.

    Ferguson knows there is no going back now, that's why he has made this public. If he thought that the situation was retrievable he'd have kept this quiet. The "still leaving the door open" shtick is all part of the break up routine by which he paints Rooney as the villain.

    Personally, I've never thought Rooney was a galactico. He's not a Zidane, Ronaldo or Messi. He'll be at City in the New Year, just in time to wave bye-bye to his old mate Carlos Tevez as he heads down the road.

  • Comment number 71.

    coalition of the wilting your bitterness is letting you down. What an unedifying end to your unsavoury dpost.

  • Comment number 72.

    I hope Rafa takes him to Inter....that'd wind Fergie up.

  • Comment number 73.

    Ferguson must be genuinely rattled to have made this public display of his dismay. I think it's very calculated on his part and extremely clever -it's a great performance and gives him the whip hand in the PR with Team Rooney. It makes Rooney's position at Man Utd utterly untenable.

  • Comment number 74.

    Alex Ferguson is not one of the greatest managers of all time because he is a poor politician, or does not understand public relations.
    Indeed, it is fair to say that his unusually frank replay of the events since August show quite blatantly that this is a situation that he has very little chance of getting out of, and one that he has not faced to this extent before - but it is his job, HIS JOB, to try.
    Alex Ferguson is not a manipulator, he rates Wayne Rooney highly, and wants him to come to his senses and stay at Man Utd. By calling this a "performance" by Alex Ferguson, you undermine his position at Manchester United, and overplay your OPINION as a journalist. I thought the BBC were better than this, but hey ho.
    In reaction to Rooney, yes, Alex Ferguson has put the ball firmly at his feet, but do you not think that it is Rooney who has some accountability for his actions. Footballers are very lucky that they have very rich investors around to get them out of fully binding legal contracts. If he didn't want to stay until 2012, he shouldn't have signed until 2012. If I want to leave my apartment, I have to wait for the contract to expire...

  • Comment number 75.

    I would gladly take benzema and diarra + 20 mill for rooney...
    that would be a a very good deal!

    50 million would not be too bad either and then get suarez and dzeko!

  • Comment number 76.

    Man U are going to become Man City's feeder club. hahaha

  • Comment number 77.

    Let me just address one minor thing: I really do wish people would stop spouting this "no player is bigger than the club" nonsense, as though it's a truth exclusive to the mighty Manchester United.

    (before I go on, I'd like to say that I am a complete neutral when it comes to football.)

    First of all, no one player is bigger than ANY club; a player is an employee of the club, so it seems a fairly obvious thing to say.

    Secondly, when the potential loss of a player leads to the speculation that the club will suffer somewhat of a demise, it's almost reasonable to say that the player is equal to the club.

    That's my rant to do with that over.

    My concern, actually, is the next few months, up until January. That will be an incredibly interesting time. Let's not forget, we're a good two and a half months away from the next transfer window; Rooney can't not play in that time, so we're going to see a very interesting dynamic develop between Manager-Player-Fans.

    But it's fair to say that SAF is well and truly at the helm of every aspect of that relationship. Make no mistake, he is in the driving seat; if nobody is bigger than the club, SAF is as close as it's possible to get, and the fans will always naturally side with him.

    As much as I don't understand Rooney's choice (I can't see a better club for him to be at), I respect it. The fact that he's even doubted his career there is reason enough for him to go, for the benefit of man and club.

  • Comment number 78.

    Long as fergie remains we shall always contest among the elite of football who ever shall play under him, a long known proven fact with or without money.

    Doubt him at your peril.

  • Comment number 79.

    Why are we so surprised? Its just a situation indicative of today's self centred, money driven, cynical world of football. Rooney will move on without any further thought or consideration to the supporters who put him on a pedestal. Just go back to Everton for an example of his behaviour, to make it worse when a goodison he generally goes out of his way to rub salt in already raw wounds.
    Shame on you Wayne Rooney.......again

  • Comment number 80.

    Wayne, Wake up and smell the coffee. Stop sulking. Stop throwing your toys out of the pram. Its time to see where the money is coming from and sign the extension, and then start to show up for work every day like the rest of us. Everyone is disappointed; fans, SAF, club, everyone. Everyone goes through a bad patch now and again, you just have to work your way through it.

    Wayne, where do you think you're going to go?
    Anywhere in England you will find it difficult to escape the media for football or outside activities. Anywhere in Europe you will find it easier to escape the media, maybe a fresh start with Colleen? How are her languages?
    Chelsea? Not likely. Wealthy but careful owner yes, but a man-manager in charge of football operations.
    City? Not likely, and I certainly hope not. Wealthy owner yes, but a strictly tea-total fitness fanatic in charge of football operations.
    Liverpool? Not likely, but a straight swap Rooney for Torres might be an only option.
    Arsenal? Not likely, due to their strict pay scale, maybe most sensible in EPL.
    Spurs? Not likely, but a straight swap Rooney for Modric & Huddlestone might be an option.
    Real Madrid? Not likely, but a straight swap Rooney for Benzema might be an option. Ah, but then you'd have to learn Spanish. Same for Barcelona.
    Inter Milan? Possibly, but would have to be a swap. Ah, but then you'd have to learn Italian.
    CSKA Moscow or Spartak Moscow or Zenit St Petersburg? More likely, and they have plenty of money. Its a bit cold in winter but you're a tough guy. Ah, but then you'd have to learn a new alphabet as well as a new language.
    And finally, get rid of this agent. Agents are the scourge of the modern game, its time for them to go, not just yours, all of them.

  • Comment number 81.

    If Rooney wants to leave Man U then he should do so either in Jan or at the end of the season (to who ever wants him). For how much? Well even if City came in for £500M it probably wouldn't change our fortunes on the pitch or off it with crippling debts and players who probably couldn't match him on his day.

    Until then it would be good to see him keep some pride intact and see out however many games SAF plays him in without feigning a somewhat fictitious ankle injury. Respect will surely be lost by many Man U fans but for him to go on somewhere and achieve with the National Team and whoever else and become a great would be something I admire.

    I personally thought Fergie had lost the fire in his gut during the season so far, but looks like this saga has taken its toll. Could it last for the majority of the season? Who knows...

    The tale of the Floozy, the Superstar and the Mentor could end in tears...

  • Comment number 82.

    What I find odd is the timing of the announcement. Rooney is in the biggest slump of his career, battling injury, and embroiled in off-field controversy. His value is at an all-time low right now. Yes, he has massive potential at the age of 24, but he also comes with baggage. If he wants to leave for another elite club to make more money, his timing couldn't be worse. Clubs like Barca and Real Madrid have benchloads of strikers. Rooney would be a gamble to any of these teams; a gamble that they wouldn't pay top dollar for.

  • Comment number 83.

    As a supporter I suppose this is now to be expected every few years. I am upset for the club in the short term - as despite what appears to be a lack of personal class and devotion the boy has real football talent. In the longer term I remain hopeful for the club despite all of the distractions these days about finances, ownership, crooked officials, etc. The interesting thing is the reaction over the last week of my three boys - my eleven year old has thrown out his three Rooney replica jerseys not because of news of his wish to leave, but a week ago because of his alleged indiscretions in his marraige. My 11 year old simply said "that is just wrong". So much for blaming apparent professional footballers' actions on their youth.

  • Comment number 84.

    At first i thought it was due to the recent media monster rearing its ugly head and piling pressure and misery onto our best sporting hero's (Beckham, Lewis Hamilton etc who all get stick).

    BUT if he's been wanting away since August then it can't be the media and it can't be his missus (who he messed about but could do without).

    I see no decent footballing reasons for him wanting to leave unless the financial situation is worse than we think, i mean Utd will always challenge for Silverware and they will replace the older guys when they leave (hard but possible).

    I'm an Arsenal fan but this story has bemused me as much as it has Ferguson.

    I just don't know where else he can go? Barcelona, Madrid, Inter? Sideways step in my opinion and with no obvious reward, I mean Utd can afford the same wages of 100k+ so can't be financial.

    Literally can't think of one decent reason why he wants to leave, and if he goes to City (remembering i'm an Arsenal fan) then he's not fit for the word professional, it would be a slap in the face to Fergie, the fans and football as a whole.

    I think they might just about keep hold of him just needs someone to sit him down and explain hes got no where else to go that will provide for him any better, financially or in football terms.

  • Comment number 85.

    As a Newcastle fan Wayne reminds me a lot of Gazza. Ultra talented, but with a body shape that means weight could be a problem later in his career.

    Gazza got seduced by the bright lights, went off the rails and probably achieved half of what he should have done. Will Wayne go the same way? My big fear is that he will. In some ways Wayne is different, he likes a drink but not like Gazza did but his personal life is clearly a bit of a mess (and all his own fault) just like Gazza.

    Now to be fair I do not begrudge him asking for more money, when your career could be over by the end of the next match, it is only right to try and get as much as possible as quickly as possible. When he sees what ManC are paying per week £90k looks a bit small. However, the £200k+ for Toure that ManC pay will soon be seen to be the silliest idea for a long time. Wayne could have negotiated an extra £20-40k a week (which is only £1-2m a year more!) and been happy.

    Now he will be offloaded as soon as possible to whoever can stump up £40-50m. SAF will spend £25-30m of that acquiring two good centre backs (do not be suprised if he looks at Steven Taylor of Newcastle who has the sort of character SAF likes although I have a feeling is not quite good enough) and the Glaziers use the balance to pay down some debt. SAF will end up with a team which is bit lacking in creativity but very difficult to score against and will always be in the mix for titles and cups.

  • Comment number 86.

    So now it seems likely that Rooney's loss of form (for United and England) was not down to an injury but due to his personal problems and desire to leave the club

    If this is true and he is trying to run down his contract then as a football fan (but not a utd fan) i would love to see a situation where either he doesn't get paid or rots in the reserves. The problem is you or me deciding to be poor at work would likey result in the sack.
    A footballer on the other hand holds most of the trump cards and it is unlikely that any club will simply bench a player no matter how poor his attitude.

    what a sad state of affairs!!

    It will be interesting now to hear Rooney's side. it is hard to know what he can say that will not upset people or come across as greed. as one poster said above the Coleen/ family angle may be the reason and he might get some sympathy here. otherwise he may be in for a fair bit of flack.....especially if he plans on moving to Man City.

  • Comment number 87.

    Naturally losing Rooney will be a major blow to United however I really don't think that it is their biggest problem. This lies in midfield, predominantly an attacking or creative midfielder. Until that is resolved, it makes no odds who is up front! Also I'm sure Hernandez, Owen and Macheda could get on the end of some of the wonderful deliveries that our wide players produced last year.

  • Comment number 88.

    I hope that this brings the Glazer era closer to the end. They have leeched the club ever since they arrived and their approach to business and leveraging debt has been a disgrace. Perhaps if Rooney leaves United it will be another factor in deflating the club's value leading to a buy out by geniune business talent that cares for the club as an institution.

    Shame on you Glazers and shame on the agents that smirch the character of the beautiful game.

  • Comment number 89.

    Personally I think Rooney would be daft to leave United as realistically what club can offer him what he has just now? Fine City may offer riches, the chance of major trophies as they are obvioulsy now the worlds richest club, but does he want to be tarred with the money mercenary brush that Barry, Milner, Lescott etc have been?
    Incidentally although I think buying their way to succes may leave a sour taste in my mouth the City fans for the well-renowned loyalty do actually deserve soime success and I wish you guys all the best.

    Chelsea may be a good club in terms of recent success but would they want him?

    Real/Barca both cutting back in terms of finance, and in Italy only Inter Milan seem to have the financial means to obtain him from United.

    The one over-riding issue I have here however is the fact the rather unfortunately money has talked in football for far too long. Unless UEFA, FIFA or someone who gives a damn about the beautiful game clubs like Liverpool, United, Villa, Newcastle are never going to be able to compete financially with Chelsea or City-not good for either the PL as a product or the England team internationally.

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    My view is that Rooney does not owe United anything. He has helped his club win the League 3 times and the CL once, as well as many other contributions. Any other player would be considered to have made a fantastic contribution to to the Club, and the general reaction would have surely been "thanks and all the best". Wayne is not a special case, despite what the media and some fans would have you believe. I would understand the feeling of desertion and betrayal if Rooney was an academy player who had come up through the ranks, but the fact is that you bought him from Everton when he was 18. I'm not doubting the influence SAF and Utd have had on his personal and professional development, but the fact still stands - Wayne owes Utd nothing, they did not give him his break in the Premiership.

    I also believe that this is not about the money. As a previous poster pointed out Yaya Toure gets £220k at City, and Rooney gets £90k a week at United. But once you earn such a huge amount of money as Rooney does you don't need or want more. He could retire now and live a good lavish lifestyle for the rest of his life, the amount of money players at other clubs earn is not so much of a problem. Now I know that many players now are greedy and think of money primarily (and it may be a small factor in Rooney's decision to announce his desire to leave Utd) but I truly believe that Rooney would not go to Utd's biggest rival club purely for the money.

    In the end people are just going to have to accept that he wants out, for whatever reason. My heart tells me that it is not primarily for material gain. maybe he wants a change of scene, or maybe he has just had enough of SAF. The point is that if he wants to go he will eventually leave, like or not. And rightly or wrongly, we may never know why.

  • Comment number 92.

    Sounds pretty typcial with Alex when he has a star player they usually run away for example Beckham and Ronaldo, so its proberbly got something to do with Alex's personality since Man united is not as well covered in previous season hence alex expects more from putting extra pressure on perhaps? or he has done soomething similar to Rooney as Beckham ( not necessarily a boot to head or anything physical )but just that Alex is rather difficult to be around when things are not going Man United's way.

  • Comment number 93.

    The nonsense being spouted about Rooney being dishonest to the club he has won nearly every major trophy in Britsh football with man u as well being at the club for six years. If Rooney transfered to a rival club in the epl or stayed on to 2012 than got a free transfer i would call that dishonesty but not staying at club winning everthing and being a loyal servant that not dishonesty or greed.

    Has anyone every thought that he just wants to experience different football philosophies a move to different league. No they are allowing there own fears about the club to cloud there thoughts and so they turn to the greedy footballer card.
    I think people are forgeting that Rooney is a troubled young man he has ruined his marriage and is struggling on the football pitch to find any sort of form.

  • Comment number 94.

    United fans might feel bad but not half as bad as Evertonians did when Rooney walked out on them.

  • Comment number 95.

    Phil, does this mean that Ferguson is now welcoming the BBC to press conferences?

    In the current climate they might only get £20M for "the prodigal-one". The best option is probably to try and do a swap with with Liverpool for "the disenchanted ones" of Gerrard and Torres.

    Liverpool can then demolish Anfield and ground-share at Old Trafford. (But perhaps Wigan or Runcorn might be better). Anyway, this way all the people who wish to boo any of the players won't have to travel too far to do so (or go to a ground where players routinely wear blue shirts).

    By now you may be beginning to suspect that I'm a Leeds supporter, or something.

  • Comment number 96.

    Roo will become a better player if he moves abroad to RM or Barca. He can learn nothing new under SAF, and playing the same opposition teams season after season must start to become boring after a while. If that's his motive (to improve as a player) then he is to be applauded. One thing's for sure - this heralds the end of the SAF reign and of United as a force. Saddled with debt for years to come, no transfer money for marquee names, a mediocre midfield and frail defence they will struggle to even finish in the top four. No team can lose Ronaldo and Rooney and still be the same. Whatever you think about them, they are both exceptional players (esp Ronaldo) and disprove the SAF adage that 'no player is bigger than the club'. Ronnie and Roo WERE the club and they are irreplaceable - even if SAF had a treasure chest to spend - which clearly he doesn't. End of an era.

  • Comment number 97.

    Thanks Rooney, you've proved to me what I've said all along.

    You clearly have a bad attitude toward the game and no respect for anyone but yourself.

    Now I won't speculate on the reasons for why he is leaving Man Utd (mainly because I couldn't care) but he clearly has no respect for the club or SrAlex.

    I hope that he goes to a foreign club so that I don't have to watch or hear from this spoilt, overgrown, over-hyped man child again......up until an International Game at least....hopefully Capello will have the stones to drop him if he still plays like he's doing now.

    Well Done Rooney, you've just signalled the end of your Career.

  • Comment number 98.

    The advice to Rooney couldn't be anything to do with Agent's fees in moving a player on could it?

    Ah well - some you win and some you lose - but if rumors of Rooney's off the field activities are anything to go by - his career will be short lived - pride usually comes before a fall - so good riddance.

  • Comment number 99.

    Say what you like about Rooney's actions, if he wants to leave he wants to leave, I can't believe Sir Alex would come out with this in the middle of the season and air it all in such a public manner.

    After this will/can Rooney play for United again? Surely this would have been better handled in private, letting Rooney play out the season, or at least till January if things were really bad.

    As it is he has been vilified by the manager to such an extent it's obvious the fans will now turn on him.

  • Comment number 100.

    To CousinKev...not a question of people feeling they are owed an explanation by Rooney. Ferguson has painted such a bleak picture of Rooney's behaviour today that he needs to say something for his own good. I am echoing the point made by topdawg.

    To no way is this a blog on the demise of Manchester United. You can't tell me this is not a significant day in their recent history and a huge news story. If someone had told you six months ago that this would have happened you, and I, would have laughed out loud.

    This is a question to fans of Manchester United and other clubs. Do the moans of disloyalty from United supporters and the disappointment of Ferguson actually have a distinctly hollow ring?

    Is this not actually the same situation Everton suffered from with Rooney six years ago - and which other clubs have suffered from when United have wanted their best players? Is it just ironic that the tables have been turned on Ferguson, United and their supporters?

    Do United and Ferguson deserve sympathy or is it a case of what goes around comes around?

    Also United fans, do you seriously think Rooney can play for your club again after Ferguson's press conference today? I think it will be very difficult for him. Is there any way this situation can be repaired?

    And if he leaves Manchester United, let me know where you think he will go and who could replace him? Some shouts for Torres, but is that realistic?

    If the strategy of Rooney and his representative Paul Stretford was to somehow portray him as a victim, they have made a serious misjudgement. Ferguson has also ensured Rooney will be portrayed as the villain as opposed to victim.

    My view? Not huge sympathy for Ferguson because United have signed players who have left clubs in similar circumstances to those in which Rooney is likely to leave now, but if there is a victim, then this tag could not be applied to Rooney.

    Let me know your thoughts. This is one of the biggest football stories of the season.


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