Holloway Rages At Rooney And Player Power

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway has criticised football's authorities for allowing Wayne Rooney to "manufacture" his exit from Manchester United. Rooney, 24, is expected to switch clubs in January, ending the striker's impasse with boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I've got big problems with the people running football. They are so wrong it's frightening. I think the game is in trouble and you cannot have the Bosman ruling they've got at the moment," Holloway said.

The 1995 Bosman ruling allows players over the age of 24 - Rooney celebrates his 25th birthday on Sunday - to move for free at the end of their contracts, and in Holloway's view it unfairly penalises clubs. Ferguson has confirmed Rooney will not sign a new contract, meaning he can walk away from Old Trafford for nothing when his deal expires in the summer of 2012 - effectively forcing the club to sell the player while he remains a valuable asset.

An impassioned Holloway added, "Manchester United have helped Wayne Rooney's career massively on and off the field. The manager, the club itself has invested in him. They bought him for massive amounts of money as a young man and they're helping him blossom into the player that he is. He's one of the best centre-forwards in the world. And if he sees his contract out he's going to be able to walk out of there for nothing. That's the people at the very top of the game's fault."

"What if he sits there for 18 months, throws tantrums, doesn't try, doesn't play, and someone's already said to him, 'We'll take you and we'll pay you some of that money we should have paid Manchester United because you can walk out on a free'? Do you want to sign a person like that? Do you want to play for a club that says that to you? How do we know it hasn't already happened? The game is wrong!" he added

"If Alex Ferguson is being bullied by a player and his agent how wrong is the game? When are Fifa and Uefa going to listen to the people who are involved in the game? They say it's not fair on the player. Rubbish! The player has had his wages every week. They bought him, they worked with him, he belongs to them. It's so obvious. The world should change if it's wrong and football should look at itself. I'm looking at Alex Ferguson and thinking: 'What a magnificent manager'. Yet Wayne Rooney or his agent can now manufacture a situation like this", claimed Holloway.

Meanwhile, Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, whose formative years as a player came as part of a previous Ferguson vintage at Old Trafford, said he found it "strange" and "unbelievable" that Rooney could question Manchester United's ambition. Bruce added, "I remember in 1995 when Fergie sold Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes, we all scratched our heads and thought, 'Wow, what's this? The introduction of David Beckham, Paul Scholes, the Nevilles and Nicky Butt produced a dynasty for 10, 15 years which hauled in trophy after trophy, so I would never, ever question their ambition, that's for certain."

Source: BBC & Simply Reds

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