By Adam Bergin
Wayne Rooney may have signed a new five-year deal with Manchester United in the last hour, but the head of Edinburgh’s Supporters Club believes the chaos that has surrounded Rooney over the last week has cast a shadow over the player and signifies a new culture in professional football.
Paul Shaw, head of Scottish Reds in Edinburgh, believes that loyalty in football is soon to be extinct: “the older guard of players at Old Trafford, the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are the last of a generation and, to use a phrase used by Alex Ferguson, they are being replaced by ‘big time charlies’ in the game nowadays”
“I don’t for one second buy into the hype you get from modern day footballers, when you see them kissing their badges and the things they say in interviews, it’s all part of a game they play to get the fans on their side.
“Rooney has severely tarnished his reputation losing the faith of the Man United fans, for many of them he was their idol and whether he can regain it is open to debate. I’m not even convinced he’s signed a contract, this could well be a PR stunt and I wouldn’t be surprised if he left in January.”
Rooney, who turns 25 this weekend, had shaken the football world last Sunday when rumours surfaced that he wished to quit Manchester United. He confirmed the reports to be true on Wednesday, citing a lack of ambition from his employers as his motivation.
More than six years since signing from Everton for 26million, Rooney has flourished under the wing of Reds manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Trending topics in popular United fans’ forum Red Cafe this morning included ‘Is this entire Rooney saga an inside job?’ and ‘Being a legend vs being a ****’ before news of Rooney’s new contract broke at around 12.30 this afternoon.
Mr. Shaw says the events of this week were inevitable with the increasing impact of money on the game: “It’s indicative of the way football’s gone in the last ten years, there’s been an increase in player power at an amazing rate.
“Clubs had too much of a stranglehold on the players in the 80s but the pendulum’s completely swung the other way.”
Blackpool Manager Ian Holloway opened up to the world’s media yesterday, slamming UEFA and FIFA for allowing players to have so much power in today’s market. The Tangerines boss gave a frank account of his opinions regarding the Bosman Ruling, which allows players over 24 to leave their club for no fee at the end of their contract, claiming the current system is ‘so wrong that it is frightening’.
Paul Shaw echoes the views of Mr. Holloway, claiming that a club can lose out after dedicating many years to the development of a player.
“A club can take a player to a certain level and they hold you to ransom and this will undoubtedly happen again in the near future, it’ll be a different club and a different player but possibly a different outcome.”