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What’s Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney worth? or how Qatar is hoovering up football and art.

If we are to believe the Daily Mail (don’t laugh) Wayne Rooney is worth about £300,000 a week. All comparisons are odious but perhaps it’s worth remembering that a player with over 500 top flight appearances and retiring in 1977 earned considerably less than £200,000 in his entire career.

The question is of course problematic and the debate often confused.

The worth of anyone or anything cannot be reduced to money alone. A painting, let’s say Paul Cezanne’s 1888 creation The Card Players, sold for, give-or-take, $250 million. A private sale to the state of Qatar, controversial hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup , which helps us pin this elastic analogy to football. The painting’s value can be divided into its worth as a commodity, it’s artistic significance (aesthetic and contextual) and simple material value. Each having a relation and effect on the other.

Rooney’s worth can similarly be divided into his value as a commodity, as a footballer and, without bringing on an existential headache, his intrinsic human contribution.

You can’t argue with the, not so bald, fact that Rooney (commodity) is worth his money. Someone has stumped up the cash and that is how the monetary value of any commodity is discovered, whether the creation of such inequality is beneficial to society is another question altogether. As is his value as a footballer, which contributes greatly to his financial worth, We can also argue over his moral worth as we can over any single person and their particular moral presence.

So let’s be clear on the debate and not conflate the commodity with an attempt to examine the moral worth and interior life of a 5ft 9 ins 28 year old from Croxteth, Merseyside.

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1 Comment

  1. Chas Sinclair

    14 March, 2014 at 16:24

    Yes Wayne Rooney is worth this amount of money ….and more.
    Man U have made such a mess of transitioning from Sir Alex to David Moyes (which pales by comparison to the lack of improvement they have made over the past three years and their shameful and unapologetic embrace of mediocrity) that they desperately need a familiar face that represents the three billion dollar franchise and the only person that can do this is ….Wayne Rooney.
    In terms of reality, Wayne is not worth this amount of money as his performances over a season are always divided into three parts ; (1) brilliant individual efforts that result in goals and Man U winning games, (2) petulance that drags down the team into insipid performances and (3) long “warm weather” convalescences when he really is fit to play.
    In addition he has the looks and personality of a tree stump.
    However, Man U need him to sign the billion dollar deals that they are working on. Nike, Chevrolet and others need to pin their marketing strategy not just on a team but on an individual player. This is the reason that Kagawa is at Man U. It has nothing to do with his skill as a player and has everything to do with him being a conduit to the marketing of merchandise into the Orient.
    Man U has learned from one of Sir Alex’s greatest mistakes – when he sold off a billion dollar marketing machine named David Beckham because Sir Alex was too weak to manage and exploit Beckham’s emerging and pioneering marketing appeal. It seems like Man U will not make the same mistake again with Wayne.
    I applaud Wayne for holding the Glazer’s to ransom. Well done Wayne !

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