Wayne Rooney's Weekly Salary Is More Than Man Utd's 1968-69 Annual Wage Bill

Joe Gallagher@joesgallagherFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2016

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James' Park, Newcastle, England, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

The eye-watering financial growth of football has been laid out by the revelation of Manchester United's 1969 club accounts.

The Press Association (via the Daily Mail) has published the club's finances in the year that saw legendary manager Sir Matt Busby retire, when the likes of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton were still on the books at Old Trafford.

And the figures reveal captain Wayne Rooney could pay the club's entire annual wage bill in just one weekwith plenty to spare.

The England striker is reported to earn £260,000 per week (that's around £13.5 million each year if you're counting), while the 1968 European Cup winners had a combined annual wage of £204,028 in the year following their first continental triumph.

Surprisingly, given the broadcasting deal that is about to kick in for the Premier League, the club earned £1,334 from television revenue in 1969, some £600 less than the £1,915 it spent on "washing and cleaning" expenses.

In 1969, United earned around 10 times from the sale of programmes than it did from television rights.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  General View of the statues of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on October 26, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

In the near half-century since, United's average home attendance has risen from around 50,000 to 75,000 and matchday revenue has jumped to £90.6 million from £556,878 (£8.3 million, adjusted for inflation).

Per the article, Manchester United Supporters Trust chief executive Duncan Drasdo told Press Association Sport:

I wouldn't really criticise the players today [with regard to what they earn] because it is relative to what other clubs are offering. To supporters, of course, the numbers are crazy.

But people in other areas of sport and entertainment earn huge amounts of money and I'm not quite sure why footballers get singled out for criticism. If football was still amateur, I think you would still have players playing. Some might notbut I suspect a lot of the best players still would.

I also don't think players in 1969 would have turned down the wages on offer today if they were offered them.

Breakdown of Manchester United's 1969 (adjusted for inflation) vs. 2014-15 Costs (Press Association, via Irish Examiner)

 1969 2014-15
Staff costs£3m£203m
Broadcasting revenue£20,000£107.7m
Commercial revenue£166,000£169.9m
Matchday revenue£8.3m£90.6m
Total revenue£8.5m£395.2m

[Press Association, via the Daily Mail]

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