Wayne Rooney’s time in Major League Soccer has certainly been interesting, and has certainly been full of ups and downs in equal measure. The Englishman is set to return to his homeland in order to take on a brand new role with Derby County, but he still has a few months left before he departs back over the pond.
“I feel that American players get underpaid,” he said. “I feel they deserve to get more money to stay in line with football in the rest of the world and in terms of the American sports.
The big push
“I’m not saying it to benefit me, I obviously won’t be in the league next season. I think it’s only fair to those players who are putting in the same work as all have to earn the right to earn more money for doing it.”
“I think the flight issues, in terms of you get so many chartered flights, I believe if a team wants chartered flights than they should be able to charter as many they want. They should be able to do whatever they want with that.”
“This year, from a team point of view, has been more inconsistent but we have been for a long time and all season we have been in a playoff spot so I think that’s the league.
“It’s quite inconsistent and the teams that manage to get a few wins on the bounce will have a great chance to make the playoffs.”
The top four major North American sports do, unsurprisingly, offer a great deal of money to their players. Major League Soccer hasn’t quite caught up yet in that sense, and it isn’t even close to the top European leagues, either.
Rooney’s comments are going to fall on deaf ears for a lot of fans, especially given the kind of wealth he has been able to accumulate over the years. If he is, indeed, just looking out for one of the boys, then that’s great news – because they need someone like him to speak out in order to help create some real change before he leaves.
The cap for non-Designated Players is $10,192-a-week, but as Rooney is a Designated Player, he is able to earn above that – and we’d imagine it’s quite a lot above that, come to think of it.
The MLS has the potential to be one of the very best leagues in world football but they need to get out of their own way a little bit. We aren’t suggesting they should fork out millions upon millions, but especially in the States, it’s important to have a bit higher wage if you want to, you know, live sustainably.
The current bargaining agreement is set to expire on January 31, 2020 with players threatening to strike if changes aren’t made.