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Crystal Palace fans hurl coins at £300,000-a-week Wayne Rooney

Peter Ferguson

Published 23/02/2014 | 11:07

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney picks up an object that was thrown from the crowd during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney picks up an object that was thrown from the crowd during the Barclays Premier League match at Selhurst Park

Wayne Rooney was pelted with coins by Crystal Palace supporters on Saturday, 24 hours after the forward signed a staggering new contract with Manchester United that could earn him more than £300,000 a week.

Rooney was targeted by supporters in a corner of the pitch during the first half of the Premier League game at Selhurst Park. He was pictured handing coins to the referee, Michael Oliver. Palace could now be the focus of a Football Association investigation for failing to control their fans.

Rooney’s response was to score United’s second goal in their 2-0 win, with Moyes defending United’s decision to hand him a lucrative new deal.

Rooney, who was keen on moving to Chelsea last summer, has effectively committed the rest of his elite career to United by signing the four-year contract extension. Under a unique arrangement, United’s commercial arm could seek out lucrative individual endorsements for Rooney which would top up his basic salary of around £250,000 a week.

The vast sums being offered to the England forward, who will earn about £80  million over the course of his new deal, has been widely questioned. Rooney’s annual salary now eclipses that of Cristiano Ronaldo, who earns £14.25million, and Lionel Messi, who banks £12.08 million.

But Moyes has insisted that the decision to increase Rooney’s wages was justified, given his importance to United both as a player and as a brand.

“There is a lot of money being brought into the game through television revenue and if you look at the amount of people that football employs now, there are so many,” said Moyes. “The people right at the top are people like Wayne Rooney and that is why they are the best paid.

“There are hundreds of thousands of people employed in football and that is because of the money that is generated mainly by television. Also, a club like United fills its stadium [and] does the best commercial work ... people want to be connected [to the club]. If you play at Manchester United, you are going to be close to being one of the best-paid players.”

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