How the Premier League's highest wage has soared
From Cantona's £10,000-a-week deal to Rooney's new £300,000 contractMonday, February 24, 2014
By Joe Ridge
Wayne Rooney has signed a new contract at Manchester United which has made him the Premier League's highest-paid player.
The staggering incentive-based package will take the England forward up towards the £300,000-a-week mark, as revealed by Sportsmail's Ian Ladyman.
It is another landmark wage hike in the Barclays Premier League's 22-year history.
Back in 1992, five-figure weekly salaries seemed mind-boggling, but six-figure salaries such as Rooney's are earned by an increasing number of players.
Here, Sportsmail charts the history of the top flight's biggest earners...
November 1992: Eric Cantona joins Manchester United on £10,000-a-week deal
Just months into the first Premier League season and Alex Ferguson completed the signing that would secure Manchester United their first title in 26 years and set the platform for many more to come.
Back then, £10,000-a-week was a lot of money in the football world. The Premier League was called the Premiership, Alex wasn't a Sir and there was no transfer window. How times have changed...
June 1995: Dennis Bergkamp joins Arsenal on £19,000-a-week deal
After several years in the doldrums, Arsenal would become United's main rivals in the late 90s and early 2000s, and the signing of Dutch forward Bergkamp from Inter Milan paved the way.
Bergkamp would go on to sign many more contracts at Arsenal, eventually finishing his career at the club 11 years on from his first lucrative deal.
July 1996: Alan Shearer joins Newcastle United on £34,000-a-week deal
Alan Shearer's £15million move from Blackburn to Newcastle was a world-record transfer at the time, and the England striker's wage packet reflected that - nearly doubling Bergkamp's salary.
Like Bergkamp, Shearer would not move on again, but Newcastle failed to deliver the silverware during his 10-year St James' Park career that their investment promised - despite Shearer's goals.
December 1999: Roy Keane signs £50,000-a-week contract extension at Manchester United
We've only had strikers on this list so far, so it's a sign of Roy Keane's importance in United's engine room that he became the first Premier League player to earn £50,000-a-week.
After a protracted saga, which came in the year United won an unprecedented treble, United's skipper would eventually commit himself to the Old Trafford club for another four years. He eventually left in 2005.
July 2003: Patrick Vieira signs £70,000-a-week contract extension at Arsenal
Not to be upstaged by his fiercest rival on the pitch, Frenchman Vieira — who won three titles with Arsenal — took the Premier League highest-earners' tag towards the six-figure mark.
Arsenal's 'Invincibles', captained by Vieira, would go on to win the league without losing a game the following summer.
July 2005: Steven Gerrard signs £100,000-a-week contract extension at Liverpool
Will he, won't he? Chelsea's pursuit of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in the summer of 2005 was one of the worst-kept secrets in football at the time as Jose Mourinho tried to lure the man who had just led the Reds to glory in the Champions League to Stamford Bridge.
Having initially declared his desire to leave for Chelsea, Gerrard performed a U-turn and became the first Premier League player to earn £100,000-a-week. The one-club man remains at Anfield.
June 2006: Andriy Shevchenko joins Chelsea on £118,000-a-week deal
This one didn't work out too well... Regarded as one of the best players in the world at the time having won the Ballon d'Or in 2004, Chelsea splashed out £30.8m on Ukrainian striker Shevchenko and made him the highest paid player in the top flight.
It seemed a wise move at the time, but the 29-year-old looked a shadow of the player he was at AC Milan almost from the word go, scoring just nine goals in 47 league games before being shipped back to Italy two years later.
October 2010: Wayne Rooney signs £160,000-a-week contract extension at Man United
The summer of 2010 was a turbulent one for Wayne Rooney as he bore the brunt of fans' frustration at England's dismal performance at the World Cup before revelations about his private life made the tabloid front pages. As a result, he asked to leave United in October 2010.
In a Gerrard-esque U-turn though, he signed a new deal that same month to become the top flight's highest paid player - a mantle he will soon take on again.
July 2011: Sergio Aguero joins Manchester City on £200,000-a-week deal
Manchester City have changed the face of Premier League wages since multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour took over the club in 2008.
Yaya Toure and David Silva both joined in the summer of 2010 on astronomical salaries, but Aguero's weekly wage after joining from Atletico Madrid in a £38million deal gazumped both of them.
2014: Wayne Rooney signs £300,000-a-week deal at Manchester United
Rooney has become the Premier League's highest earner once again, exceeding the six-figure salaries earned by the likes Aguero, Silva, Yaya, Chelsea captain John Terry and several of his team-mates, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, Gerrard, Robin van Persie... you get the drift.
It's certainly far cry from Cantona's £10,000-a-week 'mega deal'.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login