£29.1m For Rio Ferdinand. Surely some mistake?

 by Martin Belam, 5 July 2005

One thing is really bugging me about the Gerrard transfer saga. Virtually every media outlet I read is claiming Chelsea's bid is set to be a British record. It certainly is a record bid. However, nearly every media outlet is also comparing the bid to the transfer of Rio Ferdinand from Leeds United to Manchester United.

The Independent: with Chelsea rekindling their interest with an offer that beats the £29m Manchester United paid Leeds for Rio Ferdinand in 2002

The Daily Star: The deal - which would eclipse the £29.1m Manchester United paid Leeds for Rio Ferdinand in 2002

BBC Sport: The previous British record buy was set at £29.1m when Manchester United bought Rio Ferdinand from Leeds in 2002.

All of which conveniently forgets that Manchester United actually got Rio £1.75m cheaper, when the deal was restructured to Manchester United's advantage in 2004 due to Leeds United's crippling debts.

I'm guessing Shareholders United must be hoping other football clubs are just as generous to Manchester United when transfer terms need to be relaxed now that they have been saddled with more debts than Leeds United ever had.

Keep up to date on my new blog