Tag Archives: salary

Wesley Sneijder wants Premier League big guns to hijack Galatasaray move

EXCLUSIVE: United, City, Spurs and Chelsea on alert as Turkey-bound Sneijder wants big guns to hijack Galatasaray move

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

12:59 GMT, 10 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 10 January 2013

Wesley Sneijder is pining for a last-minute switch to England and has asked his advisers to make one final attempt to plot a move to a top Premier League club.

Despite being on the brink of a transfer to Galatasaray, the Inter Milan midfielder has made it clear to his agent that his preference remains a move to the English game.

Sneijder's representatives have been in talks with Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea but they all turned down the player because of his high wage demands.

Don't rule it out: Wesley Sneijder still fancies a move to the Premier League

Don't rule it out: Wesley Sneijder still fancies a move to the Premier League

He currently earns nearly 9million a year at the San Siro and has always refused to take a significant pay cut. But if a last-minute move to England can be resurrected, it would require the unsettled Holland star to finally lower his wage demands.

On Wednesday Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti confirmed an offer from Galatasaray has been accepted.

The Turkish side revealed they had entered in discussions for Sneijder, who has not played for Inter since September amid a public stand-off over a proposed pay cut to his contract.

Brilliant orange: Midfielder Sneijder has 90 caps for Holland

Brilliant orange: Midfielder Sneijder has 90 caps for Holland

'Galatasaray's offer satisfies us. Now it depends on the player,' Moratti told Sky Sports on Wednesday. 'We would be happy if he decided to stay on our terms.'

Sneijder has reportedly been asked to accept a 1.6m pay cut to his annual salary with the Nerazzurri.

Inter head coach Andrea Stramaccioni has, however, maintained the the 28-year-old's continued absence from his first team is solely a tactical decision.

My decision: Andrea Stramaccioni has been leaving Sneijder out of the Inter team

My decision: Andrea Stramaccioni has been leaving Sneijder out of the Inter team

A statement on the Turkish club's official website read: 'Galatasaray announces it has begun negotiations with FC Internazionale for the transfer of Wesley Sneijder.

'The public will be informed of developments.'

Sneijder joined Inter in August 2009 after winning La Liga with Real Madrid. In his first season he won the Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia before reaching the World Cup final with Holland, only to lose to Spain.

Richard Dunne is set to make the transfer from Aston Villa to New York Red Bulls

Dunne deal! New York Red Bulls hoping to wrap up signing of Villa defender

|

UPDATED:

10:35 GMT, 30 December 2012

Richard Dunne looks set to join New York Red Bulls in the new year, provided he can overcome his ongoing groin injury.

The MLS side have said that they want the Republic of Ireland international’s transfer from Aston Villa wrapped up by the end of January, report the Sunday People.

Dunne has been out of action for Ireland since their last Euro 2012 game against Italy, and underwent a third operation on his groin in Philadelphia last week.

Richard Dunne is set to move to New York Red Bulls

Free transfer: There is a 50,000-a-week salary on offer when the defender's contract with Aston Villa expires

Richard Dunne is set to move to New York Red Bulls

Injured: The 33-year-old underwent a third operation on his groin last week

It is thought he will be back to full fitness within six weeks and will rejoin Ireland as they face Sweden and Austria in March.

With a 50,000-a-week salary on offer, the Villa defender is keen to cross the Atlantic and settle in the Big Apple.

His contract with Villa Park set to
expire and the 33-year-old will be available to the American club on a
free transfer, meaning the deal could be nailed down within two weeks.

Martin Castrogiovanni is linked with a move to French side Toulon

Cash-go-giovanni: Toulon must stump up if they want Martin

|

UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 28 December 2012

French big-spenders Toulon must stump up a transfer fee if Leicester to part with Italian tight-head Martin Castrogiovanni.

Speculation in France has pointed to Castrogiovanni joining the likes of Jonny Wilkinson next season, but the Argentinian-born forward has a year still to run on a three-year deal at Leicester.

The 31-year-old is on the bench Saturday in Leicester’s Aviva Premiership match at home to Gloucester having returned from a trip back to Argentina for family reasons before Christmas.

Heading for the exit Italy and Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni (right) has been linked with a move away from Welford Road

Heading for the exit Italy and Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni (right) has been linked with a move away from Welford Road

But Leicester’s director of rugby Richard Cockerill said the player had not asked for a move though he was aware of the interest from a French club who also said to be chasing Bath scrum-half Michael Claassens.

Cockerill added: ‘He’s under contract for another season.

'We have accepted transfer fee for our players in the past but at this time the player hasn’t come and seen me and said he wants to leave and we have had no official approach from Toulon.

‘So at this point Castro is our player and is here for another season. If Toulon have enough money to buy him out of his contract with us that might be an option, but at this point he is our player and we are more than happy to have him.’

Or not: However, Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill (pictured) has said that the player has not asked for a move as yet

Or not However, Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill (pictured) has said that the player has not asked for a move as yet

Castrogiovanni has made himself a popular member of the Leicester squad since he joined in 2006 and has always given full credit to the club for helping him become one of the most powerful props in the world.

Leicester might be interested in off-loading him in an effort to keep within the Premiership salary cap budget of 4.5 million a season.

When Castrogiovanni signed his latest deal two years ago, it was reported he was on a deal of well over 200,000 per season.

Since then, however, Leicester have developed Dan Cole into a tight-head of international repute and have high hopes that Fraser Balmain, a recruit from Newcastle, will also become another top-class prop.

The rise of Cole: The emergence of Dan Cole (pictured) as a world-class prop has limited the popular Italian's playing time in recent seasons

The rise of Cole: The emergence of Dan Cole (pictured) as a world-class prop has limited the popular Italian's playing time in recent seasons

Cockerill has admitted that he faces a fight to keep all his top players, including England lock Geoff Parling who has yet to agree a new deal.

Gloucester, who are losing Scotland lock Jim Hamilton to France, are reported to be heading the queue.

Parling starts today against Gloucester having had to do substitute duty in last week’s win over London Irish. But there is no place yet in the Leicester squad for Tom Croft, the England flanker, who is poised to make his comeback from a serious neck injury sustained last April.

Cockerill said: ‘When you have been out for that amount of time you have to be careful coming back into big fixtures. Tom will have to wait another week or so maybe which won't hurt him.’

London Welsh coach Lyn Jones backs Welsh rugby to rise again

Welsh rugby will rise again! Former Lion Jones lifted by Cuthbert's loyalty

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

When two blood-and-thunder Welsh derbies take place today in front of big festive crowds in Cardiff and Swansea, it will present a vibrant image to the rugby world. In reality, though, the game in the Principality is on a knife-edge.

There will barely be an empty seat at the Arms Park and the Liberty Stadium as the Blues and Dragons square up first, followed by the Ospreys and Scarlets.

They come on the back of a rare outbreak of positive news, with the Ospreys’ glorious Heineken Cup win over Toulouse preceding an announcement from the Blues that Alex Cuthbert had agreed a new three-year contract.

Trend setter: Alex Cuthbert went against the grain when he committed to Cardiff Blues rather than follow the money in France, where there is no salary cap

Trend setter: Alex Cuthbert went against the grain when he committed to Cardiff Blues rather than follow the money in France, where there is no salary cap

The Grand Slam-winning wing’s
decision to go against the grain by staying at home may be just the
boost that the regions were crying out for.

With Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate
having already agreed to join the exodus to France, Cuthbert’s decision
to turn his back on the riches on offer in the Top 14 was seized upon
as cause for optimism in bleak times.

And Blues chairman Peter Thomas was
upbeat about the chances of three more marquee players signing new
contracts next year — Wales captain Sam Warburton, fullback Leigh
Halfpenny and lock Bradley Davies.

But the bigger picture provides cause
for alarm. While the Scarlets lie second in the RaboDirect Pro12
league, there is every chance that the Heineken Cup quarter-finals will
again go ahead without a Welsh team.

WRU chief executive Roger Lewis
strongly hinted that the four regions may not all survive in their
current form, with at least one in danger of being re-cast as a
development team, with central funding heavily reduced as a result.

Hopeful: Cardiff want to get the likes of Sam Warburton to follow Cuthbert

Hopeful: Cardiff want to get the likes of Sam Warburton to follow Cuthbert

One prominent Welsh rugby figure told
Sportsmail that drastic action was needed and that the future formula
should include two ‘primary’ regions and one development region, with
one removed altogether. There is a growing realisation that something
has to give.

Bigger picture: Lyn Jones is concerned by the lack of depth at most levels in the region

Bigger picture: Lyn Jones is concerned by the lack of depth at most levels in the region

London Welsh head coach, Lyn Jones,
said: ‘Three regions is enough. At this stage, they haven’t said which
region will be downgraded or axed, so we’ll just have to wait and see
what happens.’

In a time of economic struggle and a
3.5million salary cap, Jones believes that finances are a major factor
in the difficulties experienced by the regions, exacerbated by the
growing input of the WRU.

‘The game in Wales needs new
investors to give it a boost, but people won’t get involved if they feel
that their hands are tied. Increased funding from the governing body
has frightened people away.’

However, Jones has no worries about the production of players.

‘Compared to England, far more
players are being produced per capita in Wales. They have to keep
producing young players in order to survive and they have to keep
looking after their treasures.’

Wasps’ former Scarlets, Wales and
Lions fly-half Stephen Jones feels that Cuthbert’s decision to stay with
the Blues may serve as a watershed moment for the regions as a whole,
when it comes to the retention of their stars.

Ready for the fight: Ospreys went into Christmas in good spirits after their hugely impressive win over Toulouse at Liberty Stadium on December 15

Ready for the fight: Ospreys went into Christmas in good spirits after their hugely impressive win over Toulouse at Liberty Stadium on December 15

‘He is the first one to break the
trend and that suggests that the Blues sold a vision to him,’ he said.
‘Let’s hope that now one of the big names has decided to stay in Wales,
more will follow his lead.’

With the prospect of one region being
demoted to development status, the Dragons are surely most vulnerable,
lying 11th of 12 in the Pro12 league and competing in the Amlin
Challenge Cup this season.

Stephen Jones added: ‘It’s tough for
the Dragons, losing someone like Luke Charteris, who was a leader for
them, was a real blow and Dan (Lydiate) now.’

But he believes the other regions
have the ability to keep filling voids left by high-profile departures,
adding: ‘The key is the production line.

'If the regions can keep enough strong
role models in their squads to give guidance and direction to the
youngsters, then you have a healthy system.’

LTA chief Roger Draper under attack for "outrageous" 640k salary

Fury at Draper's 640k as LTA chief comes under fire over 'outrageous' salary

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 19 December 2012

The 640,000 salary package of Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper has been branded 'outrageous' by the chair of Parliament's All Party Tennis Group.

Labour's Baroness Billingham has attacked his pay, especially the decision to award a 201,000 bonus, revealed in Sports Agenda, when grassroots participation in the sport has actually fallen in the past four years.

Earlier this week Sport England effectively put the LTA on probation for a year over future funding awards, and described their plan to improve numbers playing the game as 'simply not strong enough'.

Net gains: Draper has come under fire after receiving 640,000 for one year

Net gains: Draper has come under fire after receiving 640,000 for one year

That prompted Baroness Billingham to say: 'This is the second straight year that they have criticised the LTA and in light of that it is outrageous that he is paid more than four times more than the Prime Minister. It's not right to get a large bonus in that situation.

'Think of all the children in primary schools who could be getting to know tennis if that sort of money was available. I stand by what I said in the Lord's, which is that the LTA are useless.'

Official participation figures are down from 487,500 to 441,500 since 2008 despite huge profits pumped in from Wimbledon.

Laura Robson

Andy Murray

Golden moment: Laura Robson and Andy Murray have enjoyed successful years

The LTA, who declined to respond to her specific comments, pointed out that many sports are struggling with recreational numbers and that in the past year tennis has seen an improvement in that area.

There has also been high-profile success through Andy Murray, Laura Robson, Heather Watson and Jonny Marray.

No 2: But Baker is ranked over 240 places below Murray

No 2: But Baker is ranked over 240 places below Murray

Yet British men's No 2 Jamie Baker is ranked 246 and the Baroness is not alone in wondering whether the LTA's annual 15.3 million staffing costs and 17 million spent on participation could have been better utilised.

So far the LTA's main board has taken a very benign view of their chief executive, who has been in charge since 2006. But that could change next year when a new independent chairman, David Gregson, takes up his post.

Jack Wilshere to sign 20m five-year deal to stay at Arsenal

Jack's 20m Christmas present: Wilshere agrees five-year deal to stay at Arsenal

|

UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 15 December 2012

Jack Wilshere will provide a huge boost to ailing Arsenal — and under-pressure manager Arsene Wenger — by signing a 20million, five-year contract in the next month.

And the 20-year-old England midfielder — the country’s brightest young talent — has vowed that the new generation of Arsenal players will bring the glory days back to a club who have now gone seven-and-a-half years without a trophy.

Wilshere, who expects very soon to agree terms on the new deal, including a starting salary of 80,000 a week and staged pay rises, has also revealed that he wants to captain the club one day, indicating his commitment to a long-term career at Arsenal.

Sign me up: Jack Wilshere will remain an Arsenal player after agreeing a bumper new deal

Sign me up: Jack Wilshere will remain an Arsenal player after agreeing a bumper new deal

With 19-year-old winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expected to follow suit soon by signing his own new deal, the news will cheer Arsenal after a dismal week in which they were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by League Two side Bradford City.

Wilshere said: ‘I’m talking to the club and I will probably be committing my future to them in the next couple of weeks. I know the team are going through a bad spell at the moment but that’s like any team. That’s not a problem for me nor is it a problem if the fans are booing us. We have to change that ourselves.’

His commitment is a significant coup for Arsenal after the recent departures of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, and with Theo Walcott’s future after next summer in doubt. But Wilshere believes that he has time on his side as Arsenal attempt to become title challengers again.

Ones for the future: Wilshere (centre) believes the current crop, which features Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (second left), and the experience of Per Mertesacker (second right) and Lukas Podolski (right) will challenge for the title in years to come

Ones for the future: Wilshere (centre) believes the current crop, which features Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (second left), and the experience of Per Mertesacker (second right) and Lukas Podolski (right) will challenge for the title in years to come

He said: ‘Over the past few years the top players have probably thought they don’t see a bright future at Arsenal but it’s different for them. They were a bit older than me. I’m 20. I’ve still got a long way to go in my career. Players like Robin are older and maybe he thought: “I haven’t got time any more”. We’ve got other young players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs. In the next three or four years they can become top players and we can challenge for everything.

‘With young players, there is an enthusiasm that you don’t get with older ones. It’s natural that you feel excited about the future. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not just going to happen. We will have to work hard. We’re not where we want to be yet.’

Wilshere’s aim is to stay at the club for the long term and he even hopes that one day he will be lifting trophies as Arsenal captain. ‘I’d like to captain the club one day,’ he said. ‘I’ve been here since I was nine and I know the traditions and have been in the first team since I was young. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m ready now, but one day, maybe, I’d like to captain the club.’

Showing his displeasure: Arsene Wenger fumes at Valley Parade

Showing his displeasure: Arsene Wenger fumes at Valley Parade

Despite the unprecedented scrutiny Arsenal’s manager has come under in the wake of the Capital One Cup exit, Wilshere remains confident that Wenger, whose contract ends in 2014, is the best man for the club. ‘Every year we’ve been in the Champions League and there’s no other manager has done that,’ he said.

‘He’s built a legacy at this club. He came in 16 years ago and he changed everything. He brought the passing game to Arsenal and he’s been great to me. He showed great faith in me when I was young and stuck with me after my injury. So, for me, there’s no question he’s the right man for the job.

‘When you have a few bad results I don’t think you can start blaming the manager. The players have to look at themselves. It’s not the manager’s fault.’

Wilshere, who was talking at an EA Sports FIFA 13 Ultimate Team event, has revealed Wenger has rebuked his players at times in frustration after recent poor performances.

‘He gets angry if we don’t perform and he’s entitled to if players are not pulling their weight.

In the eye of the storm: Wilshere is disconsolate after Arsenal's defeat at Bradford

In the eye of the storm: Wilshere is disconsolate after Arsenal's defeat at Bradford

‘The way we played at Bradford, the manager deserved to be angry and upset. We knew it was going to be a tough game. It’s difficult for the foreign players, especially in their first season, to come here and know what playing Bradford away is going to be like. Maybe you think Bradford away is going to be easy but, trust me, it’s not. It’s quicker and maybe even more intense than the Premier League. They get up to you and close you down and maybe the foreign players don’t understand that. But they’ll adapt and learn.’

He added that he understands why fans have booed the team, notably after the 2-0 home defeat against Swansea two weeks ago. ‘We understand the fans’ frustration,’ he said. ‘They’re paying their money and if we’re not performing, they boo. We shouldn’t be losing games at home with the team we’ve got. We were disappointing in the Swansea game and deserved to be booed.

Champions Leagues hopes: Arsenal find out their opponents on Thursday

Champions Leagues hopes: Arsenal find out their opponents on Thursday

‘But our season’s not over. The Capital
One Cup was not one of our main targets. Obviously it’s nice to get a
trophy and we wanted to win it. It hurts a lot that we’re out but it’s
only December — there’s a long way to go and we’re still in the
Champions League and FA Cup. We’re a bit far behind in the Premier
League but football changes quickly. If we win three games and another
team lose a couple and draw one, we’re back in it.

‘We’re in the Champions League. That’s going to be difficult but we know we can beat anyone over two games. In the FA Cup we’ve got a hard game against Swansea but if we win that and a few big teams lose, then, in cup football, anything can happen.

‘With Chelsea last year, no one would have said at the stage they were at in December that they could win the Champions League. But they got a bit of luck and, with that in your favour, you never know what can happen in that competition.’

Wilshere concedes Arsenal’s seven-and-a-half year wait for a major trophy has placed an added burden on the team. ‘It’s something we have to change. It’s there and it just adds to the pressure,’ said Wilshere.

‘It’s too long for a club like Arsenal. We should be winning things. We used to in the past and there’s no reason we can’t in the future. We’ve got good players. Maybe there’s a mental block that we need to get over and, once we get our first trophy, then it will all start to happen for us.’

Roberto Mancini wants to pick Manchester City up by beating Manchester United

Mancini bids to lift mood at his Theatre of Gloom with another derby win over Fergie

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 8 December 2012

Roberto Mancini tried comedy when asked if he and Manchester City's new director of football, Txiki Begiristain, shared the same ideas about transfer targets.

'Yes. Him, me and Guardiola,' he quipped, before adding hastily: 'That is a joke.' It was a rare moment of levity in a peculiarly joyless season.

At face value, City should be feeling buoyant as they welcome Manchester United for their first meeting since the balance of power shifted last May.

Now's the time: Roberto Mancini (left) hopes Yaya Toure (right) can run the show from midfield

Now's the time: Roberto Mancini (left) hopes Yaya Toure (right) can run the show from midfield

The blue army: Mario Balotelli (left) and Edin Dzeko (right) will want to sink United again

The blue army: Mario Balotelli (left) and Edin Dzeko (right) will want to sink United again

They are champions, pipping United with the final kick of last season, they are the only unbeaten league team in the country this season and have not lost at home for two years.

Yet morale has been low and relationships strained, even before the defeat by Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday which left City owner Sheik Mansour without European football despite his 1billion investment.

At the top, Mancini is distant from his players, booed by some fans for his substitutions and aware that the appointment of two Barcelona executives, Begiristain and chief executive Ferran Soriano, has increased the likelihood of Barca's double Champions League-winning manager Pep Guardiola replacing him at some stage. Off the field, a corporate restructure has left staff fearing for their jobs.

Head of partnerships Luis Vicente cleared his desk last month while finance director Graham Wallace will be vulnerable when the next set of figures show another big loss.

Elsewhere, employees whose annual salary is equivalent to what Yaya Toure earns in a day, have been let go to cut costs.

The dismal Champions League exit – accompanied by damning comments from players Micah Richards and Joe Hart – means City desperately need a tonic today.

And skipper Vincent Kompany, who scored the only goal when United last visited in April, has issued a rallying cry.

He said: 'We know the challenge is huge. It's a good game to pick yourself up with, but there is always a risk attached to a game like this.'

Larking about: Manchester City's players appear to be having some fun on Saturday in training

Larking about: Manchester City's players appear to be having some fun on Saturday in training

Returning to haunt them Carlos Tevez could feature for Manchester City

Returning to haunt them Carlos Tevez could feature for Manchester City

He won the mind games with Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season with his mantra that United were certain to win the title, and the Old Trafford club squandered an eight-point lead, including a crucial 1-0 defeat at the Etihad.

Only now can the City boss admit: 'They thought it was over, yes.' Mancini starts today having to defend his overall record, not least to those who booed the replacement of Carlos Tevez in last week's 1-1 draw with Everton.

'I accept the criticism,' he said. 'But I think in two years we did a good job because we won three trophies. In the last two years not many managers won three trophies and if they should sack me…'

While Mancini was feted for the 6-1 win at Old Trafford last season, he is prouder of the 1-0 home win over United in the title run-in, which was more emphatic than the scoreline suggested.

Ready for Mario Balotelli (left) scored a brace and was instrumental in Jonny Evans being dismissed when City battered United 6-1

Ready for Mario Balotelli (left) scored a brace and was instrumental in Jonny Evans being dismissed when City battered United 6-1

'United had 10 men at Old Trafford [Jonny Evans was sent off] and that is always a problem for teams.

'The home win was a proper reflection.'

Despite that result, Mancini is likely to split the starting attack from that night, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero, with Mario Balotelli preferred to former United man Tevez.

David Silva and Gael Clichy also hope to be fit. One mid-term silver lining for Mancini is that he respects Begiristain's ability to sign a player above that of Brian Marwood, who oversaw the purchases of Jack Rodwell, Scott Sinclair and Javi Garcia in the summer and has since moved to take charge of the club's academy.

'I think that now we have people who know the market and can move quickly,' he said. 'But it will still be difficult to find the players in January to improve our team a lot.'

Never has he or the club needed a positive result more than Sunday. It may even spread a little happiness around the Theatre of Gloom.

Pick that one out! Rooney scored a belter against City in 2011

Pick that one out! Rooney scored a belter against City in 2011

Bacary Sagna heading for Arsenal exit as France right back feels "disrespected" by new offer

Sagna heading for Arsenal exit as 'disrespected' France right back fumes at club's offer

|

UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 5 December 2012

Bacary Sagna looks set to be the next high-profile Arsenal player to walk away from the club.

The France right back feels ‘disrespected’ by the Gunners’ offer of a 12-month extension to his deal that expires in 2014. He has told team-mates he expects to leave at the end of the season.

On the move: Bacary Sagna wants to leave Arsenal

On the move: Bacary Sagna wants to leave Arsenal

Injury fears: Sagna

Injury fears: Sagna

Arsenal are refusing to improve his current wage of 60,000 a week. Given this will be the defender’s final big contract — he is 30 in February — he is looking for a substantial salary increase.

The club’s decision not to offer a long-term deal is thought to be connected to fears over his injury record, having suffered two broken legs in a year.

Sagna angered Wenger this season after
publicly criticising the club for selling Robin van Persie and Alex
Song during the summer.

Theo Walcott has also told Arsenal he is unwilling to sign a five-year deal worth 75,000 a week.

Liam Ridgewell pictured wiping his backside with 20 notes

Ridgewell's bum note: West Brom star apologises after being pictured wiping his backside with pile of 20 notes

|

UPDATED:

10:09 GMT, 2 December 2012

West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell has apologised after an embarrassing picture emerged of him wiping his backside with a wad of 20 notes.

The former Aston Villa and Birmingham defender claims the picture was taken to wind up a friend after he won a bet and he never intended on it becoming public.

Ridgewell told The Sun: 'The photo was taken in the privacy of my home around eight months ago as a joke to wind up a mate, who I had just won a personal bet with.

Blunder: Liam Ridgewell was pictured wiping his backside with 20 notes

Blunder: Liam Ridgewell was pictured wiping his backside with 20 notes

'I only intended him to see the photo but now it’s public, I can understand how it will be viewed. I am sorry for any offence it causes.'

The picture showed the 28-year-old squatting over a toilet with nearly 1000 worth of 20 notes scattered over the floor.

Apology: Ridgewell has said sorry for any offense caused

Apology: Ridgewell has said sorry for any offense caused

The West Brom player earns around
20,000-a-week and the picture is sure to anger fans – especially as
that is the average annual salary in the West Midlands – one of the most
deprived areas in the country.

The picture was sent to the newspaper by a fan who asked not to be named, he said: 'The people of West Bromwich earn a fraction of what this idiot earns yet he makes a mockery of his good fortune like this. It makes me sick.

'We’ve always thought footballers were arrogant, overpaid buffoons and this just proves it.’

The club distanced themselves from the issue saying it was a private matter.

They told The Sun: ‘This is a private issue for Liam that has become public.

'It does not put the club in a good light and we will deal with the matter internally.

'Since Liam joined us 11 months ago, his conduct on club duty has been exemplary.'

Harry Redknapp must fix wage divisions in QPR squad – Sami Mokbel

Redknapp's first job is to stop his men waging war

|

UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 26 November 2012

How would you feel if the bloke sitting next to you at work was on double your salary

Motivated and enthusiastic, or disheartened and bitter Probably the latter.

There lies one of the key problems Harry Redknapp must rectify if he is to guide Queens Park Rangers to Premier League safety.

Wage war: Harry Redknapp has to stop the players' salary issues

Wage war: Harry Redknapp has to stop the players' salary issues

The club’s Harlington HQ was not a happy ship under Mark Hughes.

Losing week-in, week-out obviously didn’t help the mood. However, neither did the substantial differences in players’ earnings.

Rumours of dressing-room and training-ground bust-ups — and even a squad member becoming so intolerant of certain team-mates that he prepared a packed lunch just so he did not have to eat at the training ground — have circulated for months.

But the crux of the problems can be identified in everyday workplace logic. A simple case of the haves and the have-nots.

While signings such as Julio Cesar, Esteban Granero, Jose Bosingwa and Park Ji-sung earn upwards of 70,000 per week, those who have served the club since Neil Warnock’s time in charge are not in a similar wage-bracket.

A number of the club’s longer-serving players feel some of Hughes’s buys have rocked up to Loftus Road simply for a final big pay-day.

The same players feel that while they continue to put their heart and soul into training sessions, other individuals are only there to make up the numbers.

Tricky: Redknapp has to deal with a divided squad

Tricky: Redknapp has to deal with a divided squad

One source said the contribution of certain players has been ‘unacceptable’.

Yes, personality clashes are part and parcel of top-flight football. Big personalities and big pay-packets see to that. But the trouble begins when those divisions start to cost you points.

That has happened at QPR.

That is what Harry Redknapp must sort out. If he does not, then he will really have to be Harry Houdini to get his new club out of the mess they are in.