Think of a number…

But the football chiefs at Old Trafford must be scratching their heads in dismay at the moment as their star player sits on the sidelines with an injury.At the age of 23, a reasonable assumption could be made that Rio has at least a 10-year football career ahead of him.

So with an average season of approximately 50 games, he can be expected to play around 500 games in his career with the Red Devils.

That equates to a whopping £60,000 per match, or more staggeringly, a devilish £666 for every minute he is tackling his heart out on the pitch in the usual 90-minute game – a lot of prawn sandwiches in the corporate boxes!

With these numbers in mind, you could forgive the Manchester United bosses for tearing their hair out the longer he sits on the sidelines.

Good business sense dictates you get the most value out of your assets – for Manchester United that means getting Rio Ferdinand on the pitch and keeping him on it game after game.

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