Anorak News | Manchester United profit on Wilfried Zaha: What Crystal Palace transfer really cost

Manchester United profit on Wilfried Zaha: What Crystal Palace transfer really cost

by | 3rd, February 2015

Manchester United have sold Wilfried Zaha back to Crystal Palace. The Daily Express is agog and outraged:


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The Express has numbers:

£11m for 28 minutes! Wilfried Zaha goes back to Crystal Palace but Man Utd pay the price

WILFRIED ZAHA has drawn the bottom line under his Old Trafford career, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s last dabble in the transfer market costing Manchester United an amazing £400,000 a minute.

And more:

That £11m total spend resulted in two substitute appearances for United in the Premier League against Newcastle and Aston Villa – 28 minutes of action in total.

The Express says United paid a £11m transfer fee for Zaha plus wages of £35,000-a-week.

Matthew Dunn tells his Express readers:

United subsidised his £35,000-a-week salary during loan spells at both Palace and Cardiff.

They did? No, they didn’t, says the Daily Mail:

Loan fee between £1m and £1.5m, Cardiff will pay £35,000-a-week wages

The Express then factors in a “£3m permanent transfer” to Palace.

But the Daily Mail says that fee is £6m:

Wilfried Zaha returns to Crystal Palace after Eagles seal £6m permanent transfer of Manchester United winger

So. That headline £11m loss would be £6.5m less those Cardiff wages of, say £1m. So. The £11m in the Express‘ headine is now around £5.5m.
And about those £35,000-a-week wages. The Metro says it’s wrong. That free paper says Zaha earned £15,000-a-week at United, today reporting:
Zaha is believed to have agreed a five-year-deal that will reportedly see his current £15,000-a-week salary doubled.
That would reduce the Express‘s £11m loss even further. Instead of earning around £2.75m at United, Zaha cost United £900,000 in wages – and then only if Palace didn’t pay the player’s wages over his two loan periods at the club.
So. £10m (transfer fee paid by United according to the BBC), less £6m (income from transfer to Palace), less £1.5m (loan fee to Cardiff)  is £4.5m. And that counts neither fees nor wages Palace might have paid to twice borrow the player. Had they paid £1.5 million each time (Palace borrowed Zaha over two lengthy periods), that loss is reduced by £3m to £1.5m. Add the lowest case of £15,000-a-week wages for only the peroids Zaha was at United (8 months) and you get around £480,000. So, That huge loss becomes £2m.
And then there is the number of minutes Zaha played for United:

Premier League – 0(2), 26 minutes

FA Cup – 0(0)

League Cup – 1(0), 78 minutes

Champions League – 0(0)

Community Shield – 1(0), 61 minutes

That’s 165 minutes. That’s just under £12,200-a-minute.

The BBC then enlightens us a little futher:

Zaha, 22, has agreed a five-and-a-half-year contract, having spent the first half of the season on loan at Palace. The deal is worth an initial £3m, which could rise to £6m with add-ons, while United also have a sell-on clause.

If Zaha goes on to achieve great things, Manchester United get a chunk of the action.

So. About that story of Alex Ferguson’s disastrous signing of a bright and exciting talent… Not quite true, is it.

Posted: 3rd, February 2015 | In: manchester united, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink