NB. The following article is a spoof letter addressing a current issue within the game. It is intended to be light hearted and is not intended to offend anyone. If you are a reader who does not enjoy this feature on a Monday, please spare yourself the agony of reading it!
This week, due to my personal contacts within the game at the highest level I have managed to obtain copies of an exchange of letters between two of the top men in European football who come from two clubs that one of the men describes as ‘great friends’. Sir Alex Ferguson has written to Real Madrid President Ramon Calderon regarding the issue of Cristiano Ronaldo and Calderon has replied in his own honest and ‘above board’ way.
I just thought I would write a short letter asking if you wouldn’t mind easing off on the Cristiano Ronaldo speculation a little bit.
I thought I should clarify the situation for you a little as I know you wouldn’t do anything deliberately to unsettle one of the players at Manchester United, your great friends.
The fact is that Cristiano has actually signed a contract with us and is going to be one of our players for some time to come. You were obviously unaware that we that we have signed him and that he belongs to us, or you wouldn’t have caused all this fuss.
Cristiano is quite a good player and I would be disappointed if he decided to play for one of our European rivals. Whilst no player is irreplaceable, I am not sure I could find another young man to score me forty-two goals again next season.
You see, back in 2003 when I paid over twelve million pounds for a young player who had made only thirty-one league appearances for Sporting Lisbon, many people thought I was mad. He had only scored five goals at the time and it was a huge gamble. It was me who took that gamble, it was me who recognised the potential brilliance of the player and it was me who gave him his chance. I’m sure you would understand if I got slightly miffed if someone tried to steal him from me.
In April 2007, that’s just over ONE year ago, Cristiano signed for us until 2012. That’s another FOUR years. We are paying him one hundred and twenty thousand pounds per week and I am very happy with our investment. I was unaware that there was any problem with Cristiano seeing out his contract with us until I saw that you had told the newspapers that there was.
If you have been in conversation with Cristiano about his unhappiness at our club, the sad fact that he only won the Premier League, the Champions League, the Golden Boot, the PFA Player of the Season and the Football Writers Player of the Season, then could you let me know what his main complaints are. You see, I have only seen him every day for the past five years so he wouldn’t have had a chance to tell me.
I am so thrilled to see that Big Phil Scolari has now got involved as well, saying that he should join your club. It is great that so many people are taking an interest in MY player.
Carlos sends his regards to you Ramon. Of course, you were a director at Real Madrid when he was the manager there weren’t you? He knows you quite well. I asked him about all this and he said, “Ronaldo is not going to leave. Manchester United can offer the best conditions. Where we can’t compete with Madrid is in a lack of ethics â€” because we have ethics and we don’t abandon them. As for Calderon, I knew what he was telling me and what actually happened. If I were the player’s agent I’d have no doubt which environment is best and I know he shares my opinion.”
One last thing my old friend. I have spoken to my clubs owners and they say that they would rather pay Cristiano one hundred and twenty thousand pounds a week to sit in the stand with his finger up his arse than to sell him to you.
We go back a long way Ramon and I’m sure you’ll understand if I just tell you f**k off and leave Cristiano alone.
Dear Sir Alex,
Thank you for your recent letter. I am horrified that you think I have in any way tried to unsettle young Cristiano. He is indeed a fine player and I am envious that you have such a talent at your great club.
Please believe me when I say it has never crossed my mind that Ronaldo would leave Manchester United to come to my humble club here in Spain. Of course we would welcome such a player to the Bernabau if he wished to come, but I’m sure you’ll believe me when I say there is no way that I or Bernd Schuster would ever dream of breaking FIFA or UEFA rules by making any sort of illegal approach.
I would also like to send you my sympathy. I know only too well how hard it is to manage a player who has decided they no longer want to play for your club. It is not fair of Cristiano to want to leave you after all you have done for him. I do not want to get involved in your obviously upsetting arguments and disagreements with the player.
In order to assure you that I do not wish to get involved, I have told every person I have access to in the media worldwide that I have sympathy for you in the difficulty you face with the best player in the world wanting to leave you and come to us. It is a terrible situation, but one that is, as I have said, entirely a major problem between you and the player. It is nothing to do with me.
I too am saddened that Mr Scolari has suggested to his young player that he should come to Madrid. If I speak to Mr Scolari in the near future I will make sure he understands how very cross I am that he has had to get involved.
I truly hope that you can come to an amicable agreement with Cristiano and that he leaves your club on good terms. If he were to leave, I haven’t yet thought about whether my little club would be prepared to offer him a home. If I were to do that, I hope you would understand that I would only do so with a heavy heart.
At least this whole nasty episode will be over soon Sir Alex. Cristiano has said that he will make an announcement about his future in the next couple of days. He will make his press statement just as soon as I have finished writing it for him.
Your friend always.