Getting To Know Paul Stretford

Getting To Know Paul Stretford
By Donny Mahoney
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Lurking in the background of the Rooney-Ferguson bust-up is Paul Stretford, head of Proactive Sports and Wayne Rooney's agent.

David Conn provides some background on "the former vacuum cleaner salesman with the chequered career in football ... now heading for another almighty pay day."

The Paul Stretford Controversy takes up a chapter on the Wayne Rooney Wikipedia page.

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In 2002, the Observer's ran an in-depth profile on Proactive after Jermaine Jenas's transfer from Forest to Newcastle. The piece touched on some of the entanglements they've had with other agents as well as the strange practice of having football managers and executives invest in their business.

Perhaps the most incredible thing about the mooted transaction is the number of people who work in football who will profit from the sale of Rooney. Former chairman and managers have invested in Proactive and stand to profit should Rooney accept 50 million of Madrid or Man City's dough.

More information about Proactive surfaced in the Independent in 2003. Particularly intriguing for Irish readers is that Kevin Moran played a role in Proactive Sports in its early days:

"Stretford, a former vacuum cleaner salesman, started his business in 1987, working from the cellar of his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, when he joined up with the former Manchester United defender Kevin Moran. The Irishman is still a major shareholder in Stretford's company, as is another former United player, Jesper Olsen. Both also sat on the board until last year. "

Graham Hunter, who was unequivocal in voicing his dislike for Stretford, on Off The Ball last night, offered this spin on the situation for ESPN:

Rooney's agents may think they are very clever because they know how to leak information about their client to the UK media. But their worth to him will eventually be measured by quality of advice, not the amount of newspaper columns and television coverage. Happy birthday on Sunday, Wayne. But be careful what you wish for.

Finally, is it any surprise that Stan Collymore was one of the first people with the Rooney scoop? Stretford has represented Collymore in the past

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