Wayne Rooney's Manchester United Wages Defended by Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls

Jason PettigroveContributor IMarch 17, 2014

Wayne Rooney has found an ally in Labour MP Ed Balls.
Wayne Rooney has found an ally in Labour MP Ed Balls.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney has found support for the award of his astronomical contract in the most unlikely of places.     

Speaking to the BBC, reported via Richard Jolly of ESPN FC, Labour Party Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls defended the decision to award Rooney £300,000 per week:

Wayne Rooney gets paid more a week than all of us, certainly me, get paid in a year.

On the other hand, I guess there’s only one Wayne Rooney and he plays for Manchester United. He could go anywhere in the world and maybe that’s genuinely the talent getting pay.

It's an interesting stance from someone who is known to find bankers' bonuses and executive salaries particularly unpalatable.

To put Rooney's astronomical wage into context, by the time his contract expires in 2019, the player will have received a cool £86 million.

In these times of austerity, that news certainly didn't sit well with the working classes, per Jeff Powell of the Daily Mail

John Shale even noted on his Twitter that if Rooney's weekly take home was shared out, there would be a beneficial effect for English football:

Balls attempted to justify the amount because of Rooney's ability, but a look at his stats across the season, per WhoScored.com, hardly makes a great case for United to bestow such largesse upon their star striker.

His 11 goals and 10 assists in 24 Premier League appearances isn't particularly poor, but compared to others in the same pay bracket he lags well behind.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi has 18 goals and nine assists in just 21 La Liga games, per WhoScored, during a season in which he has missed at least 10 weeks.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 25 goals and seven assists in 24 matches for Real Madrid, per WhoScored, is a record that is vastly superior to his ex-Manchester United colleague.

Perhaps a change in United's fortunes, and a tactical switch from David Moyes, could see Rooney return to his best form.

With the United captaincy also to be bestowed upon him, per David McDonnell of The Mirror, Rooney certainly needs to up his game and prove his credentials.

And money won't be the issue if Wayne Rooney helps bring the glory days back to Old Trafford.