UnNews:Modern slavery uncovered in Manchester
12 July 2008
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - They used to be transported from their homelands against their will, manacled together like animals. Without freedom, without rights, without a voice. The United Kingdom may have outlawed slavery in 1833, but its spirit lives on in the form of professional football. William Wilberforce would be disgusted.
UnNews has exclusively uncovered a vile, inhuman operation in forced labour operating out of one of Manchester's top football teams. The scandal centres around one unnamed player, whom we shall refer to simply as "Ronaldo". Ronaldo has been playing for his club for a number of years, since being plucked from Portuguese football as a teenager. He has worked hard and complained very little, aside from when he gets fouled. Ronaldo, however, has a dream. He dreams of a day when he could escape his life at the all-conquering English and European title-winning, unnamed club in Manchester. Ronaldo dreams of the day where he can play for a truly big club, for a team that he grew up watching, for £140,000 per week.
The unnamed club have declined to comment on the issue, stating "the player has a long term contract with us and we will not be bullied by the player or by Real Madrid into selling him. As far as we are concerned, that is the end of the matter." But is it? And what is this "long term contract" that they speak of? Is it merely a binding legal agreement between a professional sportsman and his employer, or is it something more sinister? UnNews's research indicates that Ronaldo signed this document last year, committing himself to the club in return for wages of £120,000 per week. Little did he know that he was signing his life away for another five years.
FIFA president and reknowned voice of reason, Sepp Blatter, has great sympathy for the player's plight. "It is not right. Yes, the player has a contract, but the player has the right to walk away from that contract and play for any club he likes. He should have the same rights as any normal employee". Blatter continued his speech by moving on to the subject of his plans to enforce nationality quotas on clubs and the ways in which FIFA can get around EU employment laws to do this.
Come August, Ronaldo will leave his £4m mansion and park his Bugatti Veyron in the unnamed football team's Old Trafford car park, knowing that despite his wage, model girlfriend and £23m Nike sponsorship deal, he is but a pawn in the monstrous, life-sucking machine that is "professional" football. It will be a scene repeated at football clubs across Europe. A scene that will make this reporter sick to their stomach.
- AP "Cristiano Ronaldo: I am like a slave at United". Metro, July, 10, 2008