Wayne Rooney, of course, needs no introduction as a footballer. He’s featured at the very highest of levels of the game for both Manchester United and England and had a successful stint in the MSL with DC United for whom he scored 25 goals and provided 14 assists in just 52 games for the franchise.
With many thinking that he’d possibly retire from football and take up a coaching/managerial role, Rooney somewhat stunned those thinking along these lines and instead signed for Derby County. The signing itself is not what is riling Preston per se, more how the Rams have gone about it.
Ornstein says that what is upsetting the Lilywhites is the fact that their shared sponsors, 32Red, had a clause in the contract with Derby County that provided an additional £1.5million in funding that could be used “however the club wishes” – the club choosing to use it in the capture of Rooney.
None of the other three teams in the Championship who are sponsored by 32Red (Preston, Leeds United and Middlesbrough) has the same clause but it is only Preston who are angered. The Lancastrians are furious to such a degree that they are said to be considering expressing to 32Red not to take up their option of a 12-month extension to the current deal.
Ornstein reports the words of a ‘Deepdale source’ on the matter, a source who said: “We’ll be facing a team who have a star player we couldn’t even dream of affording, because our sponsor paid for it. It’s a nonsense. We entered into a commercial relationship with a sponsor and that sponsor is compromising our ability to compete.”
The source went on to add: “By comparison to what 32Red are paying Derby in the first place, this top-up arrangement is disproportionate. These aren’t normal commercial sponsorship numbers.”