Wayne Rooney’s incredible decision to sign a new five-year contract at Manchester United has shocked the football world, just days after he made it clear he was looking to leave. The persuasive powers of Ferguson are legendary in football and he could well have played another blinder to keep Rooney on-side.
Bear in mind that what was said in Rooney’s statement a mere 48 hrs ago undermined his fellow players, the fans and, surely, the manager too. Rooney said publically that Fergie and the club had no ambition! He pointed the finger at everyone at Manchester United.
How, then, can he ever recover? It may help that people expect these duplicitous ways but that is unlikely to stop them feeling cheated by the soap opera that has played out over the last week.
The abrupt Rooney U turn is bad all round; a PR disaster for his brand and deeply unhelpful for his club. Using the back and front pages to play hard ball brinksmanship, the furore has produced the result his management team desired: more money and better terms.
But will we believe in these stories any more? Will we ever trust the footballing gossip mill? It will only be seen as proof of their greed and avarice from now on, surely?
I suspect we will never know the exact reasons for the U turn of the century. At least not until the next warts-and-all big-advance autobiography is released…