Reports this morning confirm that police were called to the home of Wayne Rooney after protesters gathered outside his home following his announcement that he wishes to leave the club.
There is much speculation surrounding Rooney’s motive for arriving at this decision, including an alleged falling out with Sir Alex, recent revelations in his private life leading to a desire to escape abroad or perhaps even his perception of the lack of ambition of his current employer. I guess all will become clear once Rooney’s destination is identified.
It would also appear that it is not only the odd United fan that is suffering from Roo Rage. Ian Holloway, manager of premiership new boys Blackpool, has vented his frustration at Rooney and his apparent manufacturing of the situation forcing United to sell him in January or facing letting him walk away for free at the expiry of his contract.
I disagree with Holloway’s condemnation of Rooney’s behaviour which he appears to perceive as a player bullying a club and given that he is a premiership manager, his assessment of Rooney baffles me. Perhaps Holloway is showing his distain for the Bosman Ruling as opposed Rooney’s conduct. The Bosman Ruling, which concerns the freedom of movement for workers, allows professional players to move freely to another club at the end of their contract. Players over 24 can move for free.
It is because of the Bosman Ruling that I feel Rooney’s condemnation is unwarranted. Rooney’s decision to request a move at this stage means United can sell the player and recoup all if not more than the rather large fee they paid to Everton back in 2004. Rooney could, of course, have opted to see out his contract at United and thereafter joined another club as a free agent. Not only would such action have meant United receiving no transfer fee, but Rooney would have had a significant advantage in negotiating a considerably higher salary, as his new club would not have been splashing out a hefty transfer fee.
As a club manager, perhaps Holloway should be applauding such altruism.