Seminar Week 9 – Exercise I – Article
George Weah last night packed his bags and walked out of Manchester City – after securing a £500,000 golden handshake.
The former World Player of the Year lasted 10 weeks at Maine Road before falling out with City’s manager Joe Royle. He was unhappy about being left out of the starting line-up and complained that Royle showed him a lack of respect.
City insiders revealed that terminating his contract – worth £2.5m over two years – cost the club £500,000. Added to the £250,000 he picked up in wages during his 10-week stay, that represents an outlay of £750,000 for one league goal.
Weah, a substitute for four of City’s last six games, scored three times in the Worthington Cup but his only Premiership goal was in the 3-2 defeat at Liverpool. Royle said: “He brought some moments of magic with him but it was always going to be a delicate situation with him.
“He’s 34 years old and he just wants to play all the time. I can understand that fully but I have to do what I think is best for Manchester City.
“It is always regretful when things do not work out between club and player. George is a true professional who has a great stature throughout European football and we wish him well.”
Weah, however, was less complimentary last night about Royle, branding him “unprofessional and disrespectful”.
He also claimed that, after being dropped for four of City’s last six league games, he felt like “the worst player that ever existed”.
Weah went on: “I’m not willing to subject myself to feeling small in front of the younger players that I hope to be an example and an inspiration to.
“I will not accept being at a club where the manager names me in the team and then calls me five hours later to tell me that I am not in the team. In my opinion that is unprofessional and disrespectful and shows a lack of confidence in me.”
He denied that being left on the bench was a problem for him and that he had come back to England – after a loan spell at Chelsea – purely for the £25,000-a-week wages which made him City’s highest-paid player ever.
Weah said: “I’m not upset just because I’m not playing. I do accept because of my age that I won’t play all the games.
“I didn’t come for the money. I could have stayed at AC Milan but instead I sacrificed $2m [£1.4m] from them in order to come here. I didn’t leave that for somebody to tell me to shut up and fuck off.
“I was made to feel old and of no real use to the club. I felt I was being used for publicity to attract other players.”
Weah went on: “I respect the people I work with and I expect the same in return. My reasons for leaving are the lack of respect, the lack of communication and the dishonesty shown to me by Joe Royle.”