Lee Dixon: It is a welcome step back from the brink of madness

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney's decision to sign his new contract at Manchester United did restore a bit of sanity to the world of football.

Before the news came through I'd already prepared a column that basically concluded the world had gone mad if United – one of the planet's biggest, richest and most successful clubs – could no longer hold onto their players because a player thought a club owned by an Abu Dhabi Sheikh or a Russian billionaire offered a better chance of success.

That Rooney nearly left symbolised modern-day football for me – all that's bad about it. The respect between clubs and players has been eroded by the money in the game. But after some shocks all round – and even Sir Alex Ferguson was shocked – common sense prevailed.