The baffling realisation that Manchester United’s biggest flop is being paid

With his tongue just slightly in his cheek, Vincent Ralph considers a startling fact about Bebe.

I read a story this morning that forced me to double-take.

It was the report linking Manchester United’s Bebe with a move to Portuguese club Pacos de Ferreira, which isn’t a shock in itself. No, the shocking part was the fact the move may be in doubt because of the player’s current wages.

While I am well aware footballers get paid for their efforts (or in some cases lack of them), it still came as a shock that arguably the biggest flop in United’s history gets paid to live up to that reputation.

Because as much as we can roll our eyes at the baffling nature of the transfer, that saw a player come from nowhere to sign for one of the biggest clubs in the world for £7.4million, the real confusion should be reserved for the paycheque he has been banking ever since.

With a reported weekly wage of £12,000, Bebe has racked up £432,000 in his three less-than-successful years at Old Trafford – the majority of which have been spent on loan or in obscurity.

And while that is little when compared with the money thrown around in the sport today, the simple fact is for all United’s folly in signing a player on the basis of a few clips and a dodgy recommendation, they have been paying that folly ever since.

It is not Bebe’s fault; he simply embraced the Hollywood ending. But I have had a moment of baffling realisation today. A man has been banking a small fortune to do little more than be the answer to a future pub quiz question.

Wages should never be a stumbling block for a player who has done nothing to prove he justifies that pay.

That is the mistake of United. But perhaps it is also why David Moyes is being extra careful with his summer shopping…because he saw on his first day in the job what swift action in the transfer market can sometimes lead to.

image: © Andrea Sartorati

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