Irwin to earn £1m at testimonial

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Denis Irwin, the veteran Manchester United full-back, should pocket close to £1m when Manchester City visit Old Trafford tonight.

Denis Irwin, the veteran Manchester United full-back, should pocket close to £1m when Manchester City visit Old Trafford tonight.

The Irishman is hoping for a gate of around 45,000 for his testimonial, and the bonus is that Joe Royle's club will not take a penny, having waived all charges, mainly because Irwin played for Royle at Oldham.

Royle wants to pay tribute to Irwin, who he signed on a free transfer from Leeds United in May 1986 before selling him to United in June 1990 for just £650,000. "This is a genuine testimonial because of long service. You don't mind doing them as we did for Joe Parkinson last weekend," Royle said. "Denis is one of the game's honest pros. He also has to be the best full-back in British football over the past decade."

City will only be at half-strength and Royle said: "I don't mind losing if we take four points off United during the season."

Meanwhile, Royle hopes to sign Paul Ritchie from Rangers. The City manager has started talks with the Scottish club about the centre-back who is out of favour with manager Dick Advocaat. Rangers are asking around £750,000 for Ritchie.

Fifa, football's world governing body, hopes to draft new rules that would block the transfer of Under-18s among teams from different countries. "Transferring minors has become a big problem in the world of football," Michel Platini, an adviser to the president of Fifa, said yesterday. "One of Fifa's goals is to ban such international transfers."

The Frenchman said that Fifa was "looking into" creating rules that would restrict clubs from buying young players and transferring them to foreign clubs. Even if Fifa adopted such rules, however, it would still need approval on a government level to be enforced.

Fifa's existing rules forbid the transfer of minors among French teams, for example. But there is nothing to prevent an English or German club from recruiting a young French player and moving him around the world.

Comments