Date:Friday February 22 2008
This, frankly, is a ridiculous story. If reports are to be believed then United offered Wes Brown a £45,000 per week salary but, advised by his agent Paul Martin, he holds out for at least £50k.
Sir Alex, though he does not understand why Brown hasn't signed yet, blames the agent for the problems.
'Players of today live in their agents' pockets - it's a situation which really depresses me,' the BBC quotes Fergie.
'It's in his hands. It's not in our hands.'
'We have given him his offer. It's amazing really, given that he has had such a good season and has had such a good run of games while Gary has been injured.
'We wouldn't have made the offer if we hadn't had faith in him. Wes knows this and the other players have told him.'
'Wes has been with us since he was 12 but I don't think that matters these days. Their agents live their lives for them and if you are happy to go along with that then you get the situation that you have got just now.'
Now, of course we are in an age when Ashley Cole almost dies in a tragic accident upon hearing Arsenal would be prepared to pay only £55k rather than the £60k he asked for. So it's possible that it is only me who is surprised by the fact that Brown wants to leave his boyhood club which, incidentally, is the biggest club in Britain and one of the biggest in Europe, for a mere £5k.
The agents might be blamed and no matter how you look at them they are not saints. But I will focus on another aspect now: who will pay £50k a week for Wes Brown?
Football clubs who can afford that kind of salary to a right-back are few and far between, even in the rich men's playground we know as the Premier League. Newcastle, of course, cannot be ruled out, neither Tottenham but you can bet that Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal won't sign him.
So, in effect the situation is that now he's established himself as a first-team regular at the Champions, Brown wants to leave for a lesser club because of £5k more. But Wesley, have you ever considered that even that £45k offer is a tad overrated for a defender like yourselve? Allow me to explain.
He played well this season so far, he was quite reliable, did not make many mistakes and was solid in defence. But it is also true that opponents are a bit reluctant to try and break us down on our right because losing the ball there could mean that Ronaldo is allowed space to run and orchestrate a devastating counter-attack. Therefore, Brown is protected by the attacking qualities of the man playing on his wing.
He might be exposed at another club, especially as it won't be the place where he grew up, which he knows upside-down. Leaving that kind of safety, leaving behind the title races and Champions League runs for £5k a week... seems stupid to say the least.
Date:Friday February 22 2008
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The Manchester United Injury Table (Friday March 27 2015)
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Falcao`s Disillusioned (Wednesday March 25 2015)
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