Man Utd Rooney mega-deal delayed by image rights issue
Player preparing to sign £300k-a-week contract, but should United keep him?
WAYNE ROONEY has agreed the fundamentals of his new £300,000-a-week deal with Manchester United, but it is thought he may have to sacrifice some of his image rights in return for his mammoth salary.
The 28-year-old is poised to put pen to paper on the contract, and could do this week, but only when the issue of his image rights, which governs how much control he has over his own "brand", has been ironed out.
According to the Daily Mail "the United striker and his representatives have declared themselves happy with the fine details of the 28-year-old's salary and bonus structure". However, there are said to be "a couple of issues" over his image rights.
But the current impasse is expected to be resolved soon. The Times describes it as a "minor complication" and explains: "Image rights are a small but significant part of many player contracts at elite level, reflecting the need for player and club to reach an agreement over the use of his image for commercial purposes."
The same issue held up negotiations between Arsenal and Theo Walcott last year, and it has become a stumbling block as stars seek to maintain their ability to earn money from endorsements outside football or through rival companies to those that sponsor their club.
"Rooney's representatives may be looking to hold on to a percentage for the 28-year-old in order to keep open the prospect of securing other lucrative commercial deals," explains ESPN. "However, United wish to gain control over Rooney's image in exchange for his vast weekly salary, which is set to be a record figure for Premier League wages and could land him around £70m over the course of the reported four-and-a-half year deal."
The deal is being hailed as proof that United are still a club with ambitions and that David Moyes is up to the job of managing a big team. However, not everyone agrees. Metro columnist Gavin Brown says: "A better way for Moyes to prove he has the tools for his job would be to let Rooney walk away", explaining that his predecessor, Alex Ferguson, harboured doubts about Rooney's fitness and ability to play on into his thirties.
What's more, Rooney is "scarcely deserving of loyalty", writes Paul Wilson in The Guardian. "Unless results improve dramatically it will look less like loyalty and more like rewarding failure. Already a sort of creeping paralysis appears to be overtaking United's transfer business, with a club formerly famous for bold and imaginative captures merely fitting in with the plans of Everton (Marouane Fellaini), Chelsea (Mata) and now Rooney and his advisers."