The similarities between the Ronaldo and Rooney saga are now very real and frightening.
Twelve months before Cristiano Ronaldo was sold, David Gill said "Manchester United is not a club that sells its main assets."
Now, less than 24 months later the MU Chief Exec has reiterated the “we would not accept an offer for a player that we wanted to keep—regardless of the value” stance to describe the rumors surrounding Wayne Rooney, United’s best player this season by far.
Yesterday, Gill said to BBC:
"Wayne has a contract through until 2012. He has gone on record to say he wants to stay and we want him to stay."
In May 2008, our exalted Chief said, as reported by the Telegraph:
"He's (Ronaldo) got four more years (on his contract) until 2012, he's been with us for five years and we're sure he'll be with us for many years to come. He enjoys it immensely here, you can tell that when you speak to him privately. Why would he want to leave?”
Sir Alex Ferguson is Gill’s backup singer in the “Foot from Mouth Removers” band, and he chipped in with an oh-so-unconvincing solo for Sky Sports:
"I'm sure that David Gill is working with Paul Stretford (Rooney's agent). Hopefully something does happen.
Back in 2008, Fergie’s response was a bit more unequivocal:
“We have never spoken to an agent. David Gill has made that quite clear and he is right. It is such a piece of nonsense. Why would we sell Ronaldo?”
Er, for starters, £80 million.
Moving on, Gill’s latest solo release is a concept album about United’s finances. The artist told BBC Radio Five Live:
"We used £15 million to buy Antonio Valencia and we have well over £100m in the bank sitting there.
All the actions they've (MU owners, the Glazers) taken, whether it be investing in the infrastructure, whether it be putting more money into looking at Carrington, into players... it strikes me it's all long-term views.''
So, any of you nay-sayers still think Manchester United has no money? Still so sure they cannot compete with Manchester City for the best players?
Well, let me prove you wrong.
Manchester United chief executive David Gill earned £1.8million last year as the club plunged further into debt.
Gill's wages increased £100,000 from 2008 and £320,000 from 2007.
Now THAT is cold, hard evidence.