Manchester United will have no more Cristiano Ronaldo-level salaries breaking their wage structure, with a £200,000 (€230,000) cap to be introduced to quell dressing room jealousy.
United had a strict salary structure in the Sir Alex Ferguson years, with no player in the squad earning more than the manager, but since he left in 2013 the wage bill has skyrocketed.
The Red Devils paid out £228 million (€260m) in player salaries in 2022, the highest in the Premier League, with seven players – Ronaldo, David de Gea, Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, Casemiro, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes – earning more than £200k per week over the period.
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But this will now stop. Fernandes has already agreed fresh terms within the new structure and De Gea is expected to follow suit next summer with a take it or leave it offer with his existing contract expiring in June.
Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo in the Portugal camp.
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) November 15, 2022
‘Ronaldo rule’ reasoning
“Manchester United have introduced a ‘Ronaldo rule’ to ensure nobody inside the Old Trafford dressing room is paid significantly more than their teammates,” report the Daily Mail.
“United’s new collective pay stance is a major sea change from the Ed Woodward era when the club were happy to break wage structures to bring in big brand players such as Ronaldo.
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“Current chief executive Richard Arnold, director of football John Murtough and manager Erik ten Hag want to avoid a culture of dressing-room jealousy.”
Most of the players are expected to abide by the new ruling, but there will be a particular focus on Marcus Rashford over the next 18 months.
United activated the one-year extension to his existing £200,000-a-week deal recently, but Paris Sain-Germain are understood to have offered him terms worth twice that and would likely do so again given his current trajectory.
Rashford has scored eight goals for England and Man Utd since the start of the winter World Cup in Qatar, at a rate of one every 68 minutes he has played.