Photo: ACTION IMAGES
Wayne Rooney was pelted with coins by Crystal Palace supporters on Saturday,
24 hours after the forward signed a staggering new contract with Manchester
United that could earn him more than £300,000 a week.
Rooney was targeted by supporters in a corner of the pitch during the first
half of the Premier League game at Selhurst Park. He was pictured handing
coins to the referee, Michael Oliver. Palace could now be the focus of a
Football Association investigation for failing to control their fans.
Rooney’s response was to score United’s second goal in their 2-0 win, with
Moyes defending United’s decision to hand him a lucrative new deal.
Rooney, who was keen on moving to Chelsea last summer, has effectively
committed the rest of his elite career to United by signing the four-year
contract extension. Under a unique arrangement, United’s commercial arm
could seek out lucrative individual endorsements for Rooney which would top
up his basic salary of around £250,000 a week.
The vast sums being offered to the England forward, who will earn about £80
million over the course of his new deal, has been widely questioned.
Rooney’s annual salary now eclipses that of Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns
£14.25 million, and Lionel Messi, who banks £12.08 million.
But Moyes has insisted that the decision to increase Rooney’s wages was
justified, given his importance to United both as a player and as a brand.
“There is a lot of money being brought into the game through television
revenue and if you look at the amount of people that football employs now,
there are so many,” said Moyes. “The people right at the top are people like
Wayne Rooney and that is why they are the best paid.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people employed in football and that is
because of the money that is generated mainly by television. Also, a club
like United fills its stadium [and] does the best commercial work … people
want to be connected [to the club]. If you play at Manchester United, you
are going to be close to being one of the best-paid players.”
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