"I'm poor... SO POOR"
Rumour has it that when he was a child, Rob's parents considered selling their house to Niall Quinn. Luckily, that friendship has stood the test of time (and career trajectory) and 'Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman' - as he is affectionately known in the MacDonald household - was able to provide Magic Spongers with what REALLY happened at the Stadium of Light over the weekend.
Asamoah Gyan: Boss, have you got a minute? I need a quick chat.
Steve Bruce: Of course, son. Come in, shut the door. What’s on your mind?
Gyan: Well… I’ve been thinking about the last few months and money and stuff, and… I’m a bit worried about my budget, if I’m honest.
Bruce: You what?
Gyan: I’ve been having a lot of money going out recently and I’m not sure that I’m really able to cover it with what I’m earning.
Bruce: Really? Are you sure you can’t fall back on endorsements? Don’t you have any savings?
Gyan: Well, I did. But you know how it is. Sometimes living properly just costs money. Eating really healthily isn’t particularly cheap you know.
Bruce: But you get 12 meals a week provided at training and on match days by us. You shouldn’t be spending that much on food.
Gyan: Well that’s not it, is it.
Bruce: Well what is?
Gyan: Basically, I’ve been doing some work with the numbers and I’ve decided £45,000 a week isn’t enough. I mean, it’s not bad, but I need to do a lot of overtime at the moment to top up my overdraft or I have to pay bank charges. It’s like a pound a day, which is alright like, but it all adds up.
Bruce: So you want to try and negotiate a new contract with us?
Gyan: Well I was hoping… Is there any chance of a pay review in November maybe?
Gyan: I’m not just agitating for the sake of it. I’ve done all the sums. I’ve been on salary calculator.
Bruce: Salary calculator? Who told you to go on that?
Gyan: Michael Essien. He also said I should be aiming up to about £65k a week because [pulls scrap of paper from pocket]… I’ve got a zone three travelcard. I’ve got student loan payments. But then there’s that, right, and I’ve got savings targets too. In order to meet them I actually need upwards of £70,000 a week or I’m getting further into my overdraft.
Bruce: I don’t believe what I’m hearing.
Gyan: But you know how it is boss. I’m not old enough to even think about buying a house yet. My rent is 500 a month. Then there's travel, food, Orange Wednesdays. I’ve got a Cineworld card for the next 10 months as well.
Bruce: Are you serious?
Gyan: I can't live on Tesco chicken noodles anymore gaffer, I’m down to a tenner by the end of the month. And a fiver of that’s going on petrol this afternoon. And then I watched Daily Politics last week and I’ve got them telling me that inflation might hit 5%. So in real terms, I’m going to be worse off.
Bruce: So what makes you think we can afford to pay you more?
Gyan: How about 10 goals in 34 appearances? How about that penalty I scored in the World Cup after missing one? How about the fact my council tax is going up?
Bruce: And if we don’t, you reckon you can get it somewhere else do you?
Gyan: Well I don’t want to leave like – I've got a gym membership for £40 a month - but you forget about these outgoings. I've got Lovefilm. I like the occasional Chinese takeaway. It’s hardly a crime is it. But I could probably earn as much somewhere in the UAE or something.
Bruce: But the Premier League is the best league in the world son. You’re testing yourself against some of the real elite here. Would you rather have millions in the bank but no challenges to face?
Gyan: It's my flatmate's birthday on the 23rd too though, and I want to get him this book. It's just the one-off expenditures that get you. Even a card is like three quid nowadays.
Bruce: Well you just need to tighten your belt son. Go on Martin's Money tips.
Gyan: [writing] Martin’s…. Money… tips. Can I get cash off them? Quickquid have blocked me.
Bruce: And aren’t you even on Groupon? EVERYONE’S on Groupon. They’ll email you deals and stuff.
Gyan: I could try it. Is there a pawn shop in town by the way? I changed my phone but I want to keep the number and get a Blackberry. So that costs too.
Bruce: I’d try Cash for Gold. And send your old phone to Mazuma maybe?
Gyan: I could. But I really don’t think it’s going to be enough, all this. I only get like £90k a month after tax. And by the time I get it, I find I’ve already spent it. You know how it is.
Bruce: Have you spoken to John O’Shea? He does his weekly shop in Lidl.
Gyan: I think I’ve made my mind up boss. Do you think Abu Dhabi, or wherever I'm going, has a Groupon?
[sound of door slamming]