Agents offer Michael Owen to clubs with help of 34-page brochure• Striker would be 'priceless' but for injury and Real Madrid spell • Former England international wants to play in Premier League
Michael Owen's management company has been shopping their client to various clubs with the help of a 34-page brochure that talks up the Newcastle striker.
In the document, Wasserman Media Group says: "Were it not for an unhappy spell at Real Madrid and two injury-scarred years at Newcastle, he would be spoken about in the same breath as Torres and Ronaldo and valued in the priceless figures that only match-winning goalscorers ever justify."
Owen is out of contract on 30 June and available as a free agent. The Wasserman brochure, reported in the Sunday Mirror, reveals the player would prefer to stay in the Premier League. It says that, in choosing his next move, Owen "is about to make the biggest decision of his football career", and explains that the 29-year-old is "good looking" and "charismatic".
Sam Rush, the group's chief operating officer, said: "As one of the world's leading sports agencies, Wasserman regularly utilise comprehensive documentation and audiovisual material to illustrate the benefits of our clients."
Michael Owen's management company have compiled a brochure on the striker in a bid to win him a move back to the Barclays Premier League.
Wasserman Media Group has sent the document, which highlights the strengths of the former Liverpool man over a reported 34 pages, to a select group of top-flight clubs.
Sam Rush, chief operating officer of WMG, told Sunday Mirror Sport: "As one of the world's leading sports agencies, Wasserman regularly utilise comprehensive documentation and audio-visual material to illustrate the benefits of our clients."
He added: "Although there has been interest from abroad, Michael has told us that he would prefer to stay in the Premier League.
"In the week after the season ended, we prepared a document showing all the information an interested club would require and this was circulated to a select group.
"We also included a medical report and answers to frequently asked questions as well as a review of his commercial benefits and international name awareness."
Owen has struggled with injury since joining Newcastle from Real Madrid in 2005 and has fallen out of the England frame.
The 29-year-old is out of contract this summer and, following Newcastle's relegation from the Premier League, is looking for a transfer to revive his flagging career.
You may have heard that Michael Owen’s management company, WMG, have circulated a 34 page brochure to potential employers. There is no truth in the rumour that it comprises a covering note and 33 pages of medical reports. Owen’s injury record is mentioned, of course, alongside a section entitled “tabloid stories and the truth” which seeks to address the perception that Owen is injured most of the time and that he has long since decided that moving to Newcastle was a mistake. There are also sections on his career achievements and goalscoring stats, and a page listing 21 virtues that constitute his brand value. Some of these points are uncontroversial, including that he is “sincere” and “good looking”, others more contentious, notably that he is “charismatic” and – here it comes again – “fit and healthy”.
Sam Rush, WMG’s chief executive, says that the review seeks to highlight Owen’s “commercial benefits and international name awareness”. Indeed, this justification for what amounts to a long begging letter highlights a general trend towards footballers being marketed as individual sportsmen rather than people who function as part of a team. This isn’t a new development – players’ contracts have long since included deals for their “image rights” – but it is becoming more widespread because many football fans around the world clearly follow players rather than specific clubs; Real Madrid’s acquisition of David Beckham was partly prompted by the expectation that he would be a major boost to their marketing in parts of South East Asia where he already had an enormous personal following.
But this only serves to highlight how far Michael Owen’s star has waned. When he played for England at the 1998 World Cup at the age of 18 it might have been expected that he would be a globally-renowned name for the rest of his career. Instead, despite two big money moves, he has been in steady decline since his early-20s principally because of all those injuries that his agents understandably want to play down. In 2009, the Michael Owen brand is not likely to shift extra merchandise in Tokyo or Seoul. Unless of course he was to be called back into the England squad – which is only likely if he has an injury-free season and manages to convince a clearly sceptical Fabio Capello.
WMG have had their catalogue translated into Spanish and Italian and it has been sent to a handful of Premier League clubs – but not newly minted Sunderland as Owen is believed to not want to remain in the North East. “Through circumstances he find himself,” says the brochure, “about to make the biggest decision of his football career.” WMG neglect to mention it, but he might even be forced to more than halve his weekly wage to just £50,000. Some people have it tough.
The Michael Owen brochure: key selling points for a free transfer• Management team put the gloss on their man • Brochure available in Spanish and Italian
Details emerged last night of the content of the brochure that Michael Owen's management team have sent to Premier League teams extolling the virtues of their client, who is available on a free transfer. The brochure is also available in Spanish and Italian. Here are some key parts of the sales pitch.
• A medical review by John Green, Owen's personal physio, says: "Michael approached me following tests at the West of England University, we deduced that his hamstrings were weak. Consequently Michael and I instigated an appropriate regime of strengthening exercises to rectify the muscular imbalances that had been noted. Four months later retests were performed and showed no deficits in strength. Green says that Owen's reputation as an "injury-prone player" is "nonsense".
• Michael Owen is a global football star. After David beckham he is the best known English player in the world. Were it not for an unhappy spell at Real Madrid and two injury-scarred years at Newcastle, he would be spoken about in the same breath as Torres or Ronaldo.
• False tabloid claim denied, one: Michael Owen is always injured. Between January 2006 and August 2007 he was. But he has appeared in 75% of Newcastle United's Premier League games, a figure which matches Wayne Rooney, Roque Santa Cruz and Fernando Torres and is higher that Didier Drogba, Robin van Persie and Obafemi Martins.
• False tabloid claim denied, two: He has lost his desire. Don't believe that for a moment. He is a ruthlessly determined person who is desperate to be back in the England squad.
• False tabloid claim denied, three: He travels to Newcastle from his stables in Cheshire every day by helicopter. Michael has never once flown from the stables to Newcastle. He does have an investment in a helicopter company and one of the perks is that in a week when he has a day off, he will use the helicopter to fly to his other family home in Flintshire.
Stoke join Hull in chase for Michael Owen Stoke City are ready to rival Hull in the race to sign Michael Owen after manager Tony Pulis admitted the Potteries outfit would be 'silly' not to pursue the Newcastle forward.