Who’s robbing the bank at Manchester United?

It looks as if Manchester United have finally put last season’s David Moyes horror show behind them. Everything about the Red Devils feels that bit fresher this year. Player and indeed supporter confidence have sky rocketed and there seems to be a good feeling around Old Trafford again.

After a turbulent beginning, Louis van Gaal looks to have re-steadied the United ship. Van Gaal deploys his teams to play a more stylish style of play to that of Moyes, where you saw nothing but aimless balls lumped into the opposing penalty area, thus bringing the reds more joy.

However, the ship may be steadier but it still isn’t all plain sailing for Manchester United. Twenty six years of league titles and glory under Sir Alex Ferguson has left United fans worldwide greedy and hungry for trophies and rightfully so. Fergie set the standard so high, its often wondered will it ever be matched again.


In hindsight, a lot of United fans, who find it hard to let the days of the great Scot in charge go, will feel that the current third place position they occupy in the league is an underachievement. Not to mention many supporters will be experiencing withdrawals from the lack of European football on the red half of Manchester this season.

Who’s to say the Red Devils couldn’t be in their more familiar territory of challenging for the title right now if every squad member was giving it 110 per cent on a weekly basis? United could be doing a bit better but like every team, there is always some individuals not pulling their weight. Like at a lot of the top clubs, there are players taking home big pay cheques despite only being on the mere fringes of the action and contributing zilch to the side.

Thanks to my browsing on Google, I have acquired the leaked wage bill of Manchester United and like I did previously with Liverpool FC, I will expose the players who are not worth the weekly incomes they’re earning. Without further a do, it’s now time to analyse which so called stars are stealing a living at Manchester United Football Club

Marouane Fellaini: £80,000 a week

To be fair to the big man, his displays have slightly improved this season. However, he still hasn’t done near enough to justify such a large wage. The Belgian was brought in during the summer of 2013 as David Moyes’ pet from Everton. He was the Red Devils only signing of that particular window, costing £27.5 million.

United fans everywhere were very wary of the large price tag and they had every right to be. After only a few games it was evident that the reds had overpaid. Fellaini looked lost playing for such a big club. He was just big awkward looking man with a massive afro going around elbowing players and giving away silly free kick after silly free kick.

The six foot four inches tall midfielder had lost all of his confidence and the fans wanted him out the exit door. As previously mentioned, Fellaini has bucked up his ideas a little this season but he still has a long distance to go if he wants to become a player to be remembered at Old Trafford and to prove he is worth the cash the club is forking out for his services.

Ashley Young: £118,000 a week

Perhaps the most predictable winger in the Premier League, Ashley Young is really squeezing every penny he can out of the Manchester United board. Ashley Young was such a great player at Aston Villa but in his four years or so at United it appears as if he’s failed to live up to expectations at one of the world’s largest clubs.

Young put pen to paper with the reds in 2011 on a deal worth £20 million. It has gotten to the stage where Premier League full backs love to see him on the United starting 11. A few little step overs followed by a weak attempt to skin the defender is what Young brings to the United attack. In his time he has shown glimpses of what he showed in a Villa shirt but this is in rare cases.

The added competition of Mata and Di Maria in recent transfer windows hasn’t even been enough to inspire the English man to lift his game. It’s now or never for Young. He needs to start turning in respectable performances or else be on his way in order to free up the wage bill for someone more suitable to come in and do his job.

Anders Lindegaard: £40,000

Lindegaard isn’t the worst of those on this list, but paying a goalkeeper £40,000 a week to warm the bench is just too much. Lindegaard was purchased by United in 2010 for a fee in the region of £3.5 million and from day one it was clear he would be playing second fiddle to the legendary Edwin Van der Sar and later the young prospect, David de Gea.

The highlight of the Dane’s career at Old Trafford is an extended run in the side during the shaky start to life in Manchester for David de Gea. In this time Lindegaard managed to keep four successive clean sheets in four straight Barclay’s Premier League outings.

This feat proves that Lindegaard is a steady custodian and is a good person to have waiting in the wings incase his services are required. But the main point here is, £40,000 is too much capital to be paying out to your second string goalkeeper.

Rademal Falcao: £280,000 a week

Last summer really was an exciting time for United fans. A New and improved gaffer, the arrival of the wizard Di Maria and of course the loan signing of highly rated Colombian forward, Rademal Falcao. On paper United’s attack looks scary but the man who was expected to come in and bang in a vast amount of goals hasn’t yet delivered as such.

He has looked dangerous in spurts but to be fair he came to Manchester as one of the finest strikers on the planet and you would expect him to always be on top form if he carries a title  as massive as that one. Four goals so far in the famous red shirt is simply not worthy of £280,000 a week and being known as the second highest paid player at the club.

Despite not always showing his class, he is obviously popular amongst the Old Trafford faithful as United fans were visibly fuming at his exclusion from the match day squad for the home defeat to Southampton. The Monaco man has a few months left to improve his goal scoring tally and possibly persuade the board to pay a hefty fee for his full time services.

Luke Shaw: £50,000 a week

It all appears to be too much too soon for the young full back at Manchester United. The youngster appears to have a love/hate relationship with Louis Van Gaal. The whole scenario at the beginning of the campaign where Van Gaal publicly announced that the 19-year-old is out of shape and not yet ready for his place in the team must have been a real kick in the gut for the left back.

Despite these acquisitions, big things are still expected of Shaw. He is still expected to become England’s next leading left back on the international stage and United did pay £30 million to bring him to the club so they must see him as a long-term investment. He will come good but at the moment he’s not doing enough to be on that kind of money.

Adnan Januzaj: £50,000 a week

Another example of too much too soon for a youngster at Manchester United. The young Belgian was a regular in the tenure of David Moyes but he appears to be an afterthought under Louis van Gaal. He was handed a new contract last season following a string of promising displays. This of course meant a substantial pay rise for the youngster.

This season though, Januzaj appears to be on the fringes of the squad. He is desperately trying to break in but alls he can do is watch on from the outside. The best solution would be to ship the Belgian out on loan as he still has plenty of untapped potential left in him. If Van Gaal manages him correctly he could still have a great player on his hands for the future, but at this present time, that is a big if.

Wayne Rooney: £300,000 a week

They say you leave the best for last. This one will really divide opinion for many out there. Wayne Rooney is a prime example of a modern-day greedy footballer. The England captain has held the club ransom a number of times in his career. He would often appear to be on the way out the exit door, looking to be heading to Stamford Bridge in a lot of cases.

However, just as you think you’ve seen the back of the number ten, the club offer him higher wages than the ones he had on his previous contracts and all of a sudden Rooney is happy once again. Many a year ago when he was a teenager at Everton, he was expected to become one of England’s greatest ever strikers by the time he hangs up his boots.

Now, he still has time left to leave his mark but Rooney will be turning 30 years old this calendar year and the time he has remaining is swiftly running out. As of now he has been hot and cold for United at club level and has flunked on a regular basis for England on the international stage. Tell me, how does this justify his whopper pay cheque? Heck, he is one of the highest paid players in world football. It truly is astonishing.

The squad of Manchester United looks like a potentially lethal grouping on paper. Unfortunately, paper does not win football games or league titles for that matter. It still isn’t too late for the reds of Manchester to make a surge at Manchester City and Chelsea, shaking up the title race in the process.

The club are also in with a great opportunity of lifting the FA Cup, following a mass exodus of top clubs in the fourth round. For these things to happen, the group of players will have to pull together and perform consistently from now till May. Every player will need to pull their weight and prove their worth, most notably the ones listed above.

The players that are struggling to get into the team will have to bide their time and take their chance when they get it. As for the Rooney like figures that are already firmly in the starting 11, they will have to put plenty of heart into the cause. Should be no problem if you are earning £300,000? Right?

The Author

James Nolan

I love to play football, coach football and most importantly write about football. I ply my trade for Wicklow Rovers in the Leinster Senior League and coach a team in the same club. I write for my local newspaper, the Wicklow/Bray People where I provide coverage of local soccer, as well as BackPageFootball.Com.

24 thoughts on “Who’s robbing the bank at Manchester United?

  1. Good research on the salaries, but do the same with every club and you will see that even reserve goalkeepers get paid just like Lindergaard. Fellaini is not overpaid, the salary structures at clubs like Chelsea, United, and Manchester City are just that. Yeah, a few players like Rooney and Falcao are making too much, but they would have commanded just as much if not at United. Had Rooney left United, he would have only left for the same if not more pay. Ashley Young came in as one of the best wingers and given his ability to adapt to the wingback position, I think he deserves it.

  2. Man Utd is currently in 3rd position please do proper research before publishing. This makes me question the creditability of your entire article. Thanks

  3. The article is kinda about players on high wages not about the club’s league position. Plus it clearly states that the club can still make a stab at the title race with a run of wins. Plus win the FA Cup. There was one of these about Liverpool last week and not one LFC fan caused any fuss but of course United are “perfect” and their fans believe their players can do no wrong. If their squad was as perfect as they think maybe they’d be winning the league this season and maybe playing Champions League football. Just saying

  4. Compared to global sports salaries in basketball, American football and tennis these numbers are reasonable? Only cricketers and Rugby Union professionals must feel envious of their sporting friends? But it all comes down to bums in stadiums and TV rooms and football has the edge there?

  5. Look let me say something here tge term problems is not about wages, is all about encouragement, Moyer time was very bad for term show the weak side of the term, so in all i think this is time for all the united fans to come together and encourage the players to do more. This other person making more and not doing more is the time now, i think that can be done at the beginning of next coming season.

  6. I think everyone on this list deserves the wages they earn. These players needs to be motivated and encourage…GO REDS!!!! U still on the title race, bring it home.

  7. The piece has people talking, as good opinion pieces are meant to. Plus some of the players above are on too high of a salary for what they give on the pitch. Can easily change with improved performances but for now…

  8. r u mad bro they all deserve what they r earning especially the young players go criticize another team terrible rticle gd effort dough

  9. there’s absolutely no problem with Fallaine, Januzaj, Lindergard and Rooney’s salaries because they deserve it. Rooney the highest paid brings more than what you see on the pitch. I mean his name is probably the biggest brand in the EPL among all players.
    As for Ashley Young, sources have it that he’s likely to have a pay cut in the new contract he’s to be offered considering his age and being that the coach doesn’t see him as the long term in that position
    The other thing is,, only you thinks Luke Shaw is paid £50,000 a week…oh sh** and where is Van Persie and Nani ?

  10. manutd,so disappointing against everton,it is just unbelievable,their chances of a top four finish is still hanging in the balance.chris okoroafor.nigeria.

  11. Come on Everton! You can have Fellaini and tosspot Rooney all day long, hope your season ticket is worth it!

  12. Look, every indivitual is opined to say whatever they feel about there club. And therefore i partially agree with that guy and differ with him on some issues based on wage bills. First, fellaini, luke shaw and januzaj both earn more than what you mentioned above, get your research right, another thing for sure you cant give all the money in the world to people like rooney, falcao and the gaffer himself does not either play them or does not play them to their favourite positions. That adds up to little i thought.

  13. The writer is sop biased and has hidden agenda.I dont think he knows about economics and player power,further does he watch games ?So sad.Rooney deserves alll the cash.in fact Manutd greatly undermined his talent,always played in different positions,how many players can allow that ?RVP is over paid ,Falcao ,Dimaria??

  14. Rooney earns in the same region as Messiand Ronaldo and he is not half the player they are…he is really robbing Man UTd..means that if ManU were to sign Ronaldo or Messi they would Pay the £1m weekly.and by the way,its football and not Soccer.

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