Sir Alex Ferguson reveals how Wayne Rooney's increase affected pay structure at Manchester United

'We just agreed that no player should be paid more than me'

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson reveals in his latest book, published today, that Wayne Rooney’s salary was raised to twice that of his manager’s in 2010, prompting Manchester United’s owners the Glazer family to introduce a rule that no player at Old Trafford could earn more than the Scot.

In Leading, the second book Ferguson has published since his retirement in 2013, the United manager makes a number of revelations about his 27 years in charge of the club, including a conversation with director Joel Glazer over the new contract for Rooney. The deal was agreed after a stand-off between club and player precipitated by a statement from Rooney publicly questioning United’s ambition.

Ferguson writes: “When the Glazers and David Gill agreed to a big increase in Wayne Rooney’s salary in 2010, they wanted to know how I felt. I told them I did not think it fair that Rooney should earn twice what I made and Joel Glazer immediately said: ‘I totally agree with you but what should we do?’ It was simple. We just agreed that no player should be paid more than me. We agreed in less time than it takes to read this sentence.”

Ferguson states that in his last 15 years at the club he was on a one-year rolling contract which entitled him to two years’ salary if he was sacked. He writes: “In the Premier League I imagine that only Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho pull down the amount of money earned by their best players. That probably explains why nothing much is written about a manager’s compensation. What message does it send to a team, if most of them are being paid more than their boss?”

The book, co-authored by Sir Michael Moritz, an investor in Silicon Valley technology firms, is presented as a guide to business leadership.

He reveals that the key to Paul Pogba leaving United in 2012 was the young Frenchman engaging the services of Mino Raiola, who also represents Mario Balotelli. Ferguson calls the first meeting with Raiola a “fiasco”, writing: “He [Raiola] and I were like oil and water. From then on our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”

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