Man U director finds Ronaldo fee vulgar

Manchester United director Bobby Charlton has described Real Madrid's transfer payment for Cristiano Ronaldo as "vulgar".

updated: June 18, 2009 14:38 IST
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Manchester United director Bobby Charlton has described Real Madrid's transfer payment for Cristiano Ronaldo as "vulgar" but says there is no ill feeling toward the player for leaving.

Charlton said United manager Alex Ferguson can be trusted to use the 80 million pound ($131 million) transfer fee to recruit top-notch players, although acknowledging the departure of the club's best player had prompted some "soul searching" at Old Trafford.

The two clubs expect to complete the world record transfer before the end of the month, a year after United had successfully fended off an earlier bid by Madrid for the Portugal winger.

"Ronaldo leaves us because as a young boy he always dreamt about playing for Real Madrid, so if he leaves us it is with our blessing," said Charlton, who was in China's capital Beijing on Thursday on club business.

"We are very grateful that he has scored goals, that he has played well, that he's contributed to the fame of Manchester United."

Charlton said the transfer was "a good deal and a fair deal" for Manchester United, which now has considerable resources to acquire new attacking talent to play alongside the likes of Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

"It is an enormous amount of money and it sometimes (seems) a little bit vulgar," Charlton said. "But nevertheless that is business, I am afraid. We have responsibilities as a company.

"It's a lot of money. It seems crazy really, but the more the money the players cost, the more the television companies appear to be able to contribute that little bit more too.

"It is a little bit of soul searching. you wonder if you made the right decision. We shall never know until the season starts."

Charlton expects Ferguson to continue making the sort of bold transfers that have led United to 11 out of 17 Premier League titles. It was the sale of former club icon David Beckham, also to Real Madrid, that enabled the Ronaldo purchase in 2003.

"He is a great judge of the player. Alex Ferguson is very brave, he's very brave with his decisions, he's very decisive with his decisions, and that is why he's been a major success," Charlton said.