VOX POP: Is Roy Keane's pounds 50,000-a-week pay deal at United good for the game?

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The Independent Online
JOHNNY HAYNES

FIRST pounds 100-A-WEEK FOOTBALLER

It's gone over the top - from one extreme to the other. Good luck to him but clubs are going to find it hard to live with all this money they're dishing out. As long as the television money lasts its going to be OK. All the players - or their agents - are going to ask for whatever they can get now and I don't know where it's going to end. If TV pull out, and I don't see it yet, then players will probably see their wages go right down. Everybody was amazed when I was on pounds 100 a week, but even in my day that was nothing compared with pounds 50,000 a week.

BARRY FRY

PETERBOROUGH MANAGER

I think Keane is a very influential player on and off the field and therefore he is worth the money, although the wages are obscene nowadays. To replace him would probably cost more than to keep him. The wages frighten me to death because I can see a couple of clubs folding in a very short period of time. Then it will be like a pack of cards and the whole lot will go. The poor clubs now are barely existing. Players wages have gone up 70-80 per cent over the past four years but revenue has nowhere near matched it. I fear for football.

JAMIE FULLARTON

CRYSTAL PALACE (pounds 20m in debt)

From a professional point of view I think good luck to Roy Keane. We at Palace are struggling financially due to the fact that players were over-earning at a club of our size and now at Palace players aren't getting paid properly. Last year we were signing players on contracts we couldn't sustain. I think Manchester United are a totally different kettle of fish and to replace Keane would cost millions. At Palace last year we were told everything was fine financially, and then before we knew it we were in dire straits.

JON SMITH

FOOTBALL AGENT

I don't think the implications for football after the Keane deal are too great. What Manchester United have done is probably only increase his weekly wage a bit, but after factoring in a new signing-on fee that's how you get to about pounds 50,000 a week. The Premiership is shown in 134 countries and is competing against the best in Europe such as Spain and Italy and teams have to behave accordingly. Paying the best players has never been a problem, only the ones who think they're better than they are.

GORDON TAYLOR

PFA CHIEF EXECUTIVE

He's at the biggest club in the world and they should be able to keep their best player - it would have made their Champions' League rivals a lot happier if he had left. It doesn't mean to say there won't be problems because there will probably be other United players knocking on the manager's door. It's not something other clubs should follow if they don't have United's income. The PFA hope players can capitalise on their ability at whatever level. Clubs aren't queuing up to look after you when your career ends.

MARK McGHEE

FORMER WOLVES MANAGER

I think the danger from this sort of deal is to the Premiership clubs who get relegated. The clubs earn less money but the players earn the same. But if United are going to compete with the likes of Lazio then they have to pay the going rate. But if there's a player out there who can do the job at half the salary, then I'll try to get him. It is not an endless upward spiral, there will come a point when it stops making economic sense for advertisers and TV to keep paying more and more.

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