As the old saying goes, “every man has his price” – and more often than not, this is found to be true.
In your working life, would you leave your current employer to go and work elsewhere for twice as much money? It is a no brainer, right? So why should footballers be any different?
There is an argument that most Premier League footballers already earn more money in a month than most of us will see in a lifetime – so what difference does it make if they are a millionaire, a multi-millionaire or a billionaire? They still have more than they can spend in a lifetime.
Those of you who earn between £30k-40k per annum will understand and appreciate the volume of additional tax you pay on that final £6,000. You lose 40% of it. Seems pointless to have an additional £6,000 on your salary only to see £3,600 of it.
Those of you lucky enough to earn over £150,000 per year will realise that any earnings over this substantial amount actually sees you give 50% back to the taxman. Gutting to think you could be in a job which pays £500,000 per year only to actually clear just over half of it.
Yes, £250,000 per year (take home) is a serious amount of money, but giving up £250,000 cannot be nice; thus comes the temptation to go elsewhere and earn a cool million pounds per annum, in order to take home £500,000 of it… and so on.
Now, if rumours are to be believed, Manchester United captain, Nemanja Vidic is the top target of super-rich Russian outfit, Anzhi Makhachkala.
This club have already made Samuel Eto’o the highest paid footballer, ever – and are willing to match his wages on former Serbian captain, Vidic.
I am sure Vidic like any other human will have his head turned and contemplate the amount of Russian Rubles on show; however this isn’t the part of the saga which worries me. What worries me is that there are simply too many aspects of this deal which already fall easily into place.
Who would want to play in Russia?
Vidic spent two seasons at Spartak Moscow before joining United – so I am sure wouldn’t be put out by the weather or the standard of football on offer. Home from home for a Serbian guy.
Who would want to leave Manchester United?
Manchester United is by no means a selling club and is certainly amongst the elite clubs in world football. However, United simply do not have the resources to compete on a financial level. If it is a simple head to head between who can pay the guy more, United will lose.
In recent seasons, United have lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez – both worldwide superstars who felt they would have a better future away from Old Trafford. United are accustomed to seeing great players exit. Sometimes the choice of the club, sometimes the choice of the player.
Why would United sell their captain?
If Vidic had stayed fit last season, would United have won the title? Losing by goal difference in the closest ever title race begs the question, did United really miss Vidic who was absent for the season – or was it down to bad luck that the title went elsewhere?
Furthermore, Sir Alex puts trust in young players and there is no shortage of quality replacement in central defence with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans at the club’s disposal. £40m is a lot to reject for a central defender who is now the wrong side of 30.
After a year on the sidelines, has Vidic returned as the player he was, or has he lost half a yard of pace like Sir Alex and co felt Jaap Stam did, all those years ago?
Letting Stam go to Lazio in 2001 because the coaching staff felt he hadn’t recovered from an injury will always be held as one of Ferguson’s biggest misjudgements.
Understandably, Stam was played off the park by a young Louis Saha for newly promoted Fulham – so Sir Alex was furious and very concerned big Jaap was no longer up for the job; but what defender doesn’t have a bad game?
After his United exit, the big Dutchman went on for another six seasons playing at the top level, bullying strikers across Europe, dominating games and making every United fan envious he wasn’t still playing in red.
For me, letting Vidic go will be on par with the Stam error.
I appreciate £40m is a lot of money to refuse, but it isn’t enough to replace Vidic with a defender of the same, or a higher, quality.
These days, with all the coaching, fitness and nutritional methods introduced into players’ lives, I believe Vidic still has five seasons playing at his peak ahead of him.
I fully hope that if the player’s head hasn’t been turned by the significant cash on offer, the club’s hasn’t been either.
To respond to me directly, I am on Twitter: @NathonW
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