United has violated Sir Alex Ferguson’s golden rule by bringing in Erik ten Hag contract
Erik ten Hag earns £9 million per year at Manchester United, implying that the club’s biggest stars earn far more than their manager.
Each Premier League manager’s salary has been revealed. Pep Guardiola of Manchester City earns the most – £19 million per year – while Jurgen Klopp (£16 million) and Antonio Conte (£15 million) of Liverpool and Tottenham respectively.
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Ten Hag’s salary is sizable, but it violates one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most important rules: no United player can be bigger than the club. During his illustrious tenure as manager at Old Trafford, the legendary Scot was always paid more than his stars.
Ferguson, who retired in May 2013, is rightly regarded as one of history’s greatest managers. At Old Trafford, he won 38 trophies, including 13 Premier Leagues, two Champions Leagues, the Club World Cup, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Ferguson was also a standout performer for Aberdeen in Scotland, where he won 11 trophies, including three top-flight titles. His greatest achievement at Aberdeen was defeating Real Madrid 2-1 in the 1983 Cup Winners’ Cup final in Gothenburg.
Ferguson’s success was built on many factors, one of which was never allowing his players to believe they were bigger than the club. Even when Wayne Rooney was paid a whopping £250,000 per week in 2010, his manager was still paid more.
This was revealed by Ferguson in his 2015 book, Leading. He stated: “I told them I didn’t think it was fair for Rooney to earn twice as much as I did. ‘I completely agree, but what should we do?’ said Joel Glazer. It was straightforward. We simply agreed that no player should be paid more than I am.”
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However, the Glazers, United’s contentious owners, have broken that rule. Spotrac reports that eight United players earn more than Ten Hag. Two of them, David de Gea and Jadon Sancho (both £19.5 million), earn more than their manager.
Raphael Varane (£17.7m), Casemiro (£15.6m), Anthony Martial (£13m), Bruno Fernandes (£12.5m), Antony (£10.4m), and Marcus Rashford (£10.4m) are the other United players earning more than Ten Hag. Harry Maguire (£8.5 million) is United’s next highest earner after this.
Although this may worry some United supporters, it is important to remember that times have changed since Ferguson stepped down as manager nearly a decade ago. Even Guardiola’s salary is dwarfed by that of Kevin De Bruyne (£20.8 million) and Erling Haaland (£19.5 million).
Ten Hag has also proven to be a strict disciplinarian towards the club’s biggest stars, regardless of whether they make more money than him. Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest-paid player in the Premier League, earning £26.8 million per year, when his contract with Manchester United was terminated by mutual consent in November.
Ten Hag, on the other hand, knew he couldn’t stay at United after criticizing his manager, the Glazers, and others in a sensational interview with Piers Morgan. United fans should not be concerned about Ten Hag’s salary if he is capable of firing Ronaldo.