rss twitter facebook mobile

Fergie And Rio Row Resolved

Sir Alex Ferguson has today revealed that any issues with Rio Ferdinand over his refusal to where a Kick It Out t-shirt on Saturday have been resolved.

“I always feel a union is stronger than an individual,” he added. “It’s important he airs his grievances to the right people, the FA.”

Ferguson has also confirmed that Rio won’t be playing in this week’s Champions League game.

“I’m making a few changes,” he added. “I’m leaving out Rio and Patrice Evra. We have a big game against Chelsea.”

Chris Smalling didn’t train with the first team this morning but he has been training with the reserves for a couple of days. Phil Jones will start playing in training a week today and that both players are two or three weeks away from the first team. This suggest that Scott Wootton will be starting in defence alongside Jonny Evans, although it’s possible Michael Carrick might drop back.

Read more on the fall out here.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. wayne says:

    Well that was something over nothing seems obvious Sir Alex realized he’s in the wrong trying to use a heavy hand and his statements to the press in retrospect were out of line

  2. ididnotzeeit says:

    Good, done and dusted, put to bed now, yeah? Let’s keep it focused on footy ROM, let the media and ABUs discuss this at length, but keep this place in-house row-free. Big fucking week ahead of us. I’m much more interested in watching our lads bag 9 points on 8 days and more importantly, narrow the gap on the weekend then I am the media or anyone’s “spin” on Rio wearing/not wearing a bloody T-Shirt.

    Let’s start our own Kick it Out campaign against the acknowledgement and beating of a dead horse on a non-issue. Just my two pennies..

  3. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Great to see Rio happy as well.

    If the previous post was accurate (highly unlikely) then all the smiling at practice this morning was
    after Rio got a hefty fine. Never believed that was going to happen, but it surely wasn’t going to happen for the reasons Scott was proposing.

    Sure wish that post could have been shelved until now. Lots of egg on faces.

  4. altyred says:

    Agree with the other posters, the only reason this is an issue is so the ABUs will buy more papers and desperately claim this as evidence that United are ‘in decline’ somehow, despite the issue being resolved in the most mature way possible.

    On another note, what’s happened to Ashley Young?!? Tipped to play against Stoke and now no mention of him before the game tomorrow? Am I the only one who is curious for news because I think he could be a vital player in the team?


    So is Rio not playing because that is “How he has been dealt with?” Is SAF weakening the defence in order to “win” his argument and make his point however morally dubious the reasoning?
    If that is the case then he has some explaining to do. If he is resting Rio or genuinely feels Wooton is a better choice then OK, fair enough but this is a very ambiguous and confusing thing to say in the current context. It is disrespectful of the two players and also the fans – But that`s just my opinion.
    So what do we make of it if Wooton`s inexperience costs us the game – hope it doesnt of course but if it does then who is to blame ? Rio for having a moral backbone or SAF for his management of the situation.

  6. altyred says:

    Oh, nevermind just read the press conference in full, apparently he’ll be involved tomorrow.

    Who’s going to start alongside Evans at centre half though, surely not Wooton in a Champions League tie for 90 minutes?

  7. Costas says:

    I am afraid it will be Carrick getting the nod in defence tomorrow. Hope I am wrong.

    Anyway, nice to see the manager soften up over this thing. Had to laugh at his suggestion for Rio to take it to the FA. We know how well that has worked for him…

  8. ididnotzeeit says:

    @ Costas

    I would love to see Carrick get a rest ahead of Sunday, however I think SAF’s learnt his lesson from last season and will play our strongest XI until we’ve secured our place in the knock out rounds in Europe. Also, if Carrick dropping into CB means game time for the likes of Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson then it’s a positive spin as well.

    I would love to see Wotton get a run out, but, that’s predicated on Carrick getting rested. That lad’s seen more football in the last 2 months than my 12 year old nephew’s playstation ;)

  9. wayne says:

    Really don’t see any issue in resting Rio in midweek Chelsea is a much bigger game,just can’t play Rio 3 games a week.Since not being picked for England it’s worked out well and the club is getting much more mileage out of him.Just the sensible thing to do

  10. The One says:

    I think the problem was not because Rio didn’t wear the T-shirt, rather, it was because he acted without informing SAF after the latter had said publicly that the team would wear it.

  11. mig78 says:

    SAF also added.
    It’s been a communication issue more than anything else. We’ve resolved the situation, there’s no lingering problems and we move on. That’s the end of the matter.”

    It’s done and dusted let’s get on with football matter fellas…

  12. Costas says:


    I agree that it’s imperative we don’t repeat last season’s mistakes. A win tomorrow tonight will just about guarantee qualification and we have to play a strong team. But it’s also imperative that Carrick gets a rest with Chelsea on the horizon. So I’d also love to see Wootton start tomorrow. He’s inexperienced on this level, but we could always play Fletcher as a shield for the back 4 like we did against Newcastle and Cluj.

    It’s also nice to see Buttner get a run out. The lad hasn’t been able to put together a run of games with Evra never been dropped…

  13. Costas says:

    *never being dropped*

  14. United Till I Die says:


    We probably disagree on this one, but the only person left with egg on their face is Sir Alex Ferguson. To be blunt mate, I think the whole fucking world can see that except you and a few others.

    But thats what opinions are for. We can’t all always agree can we?

    To me its no big deal, especially after todays press conference. Making mistakes is what makes us human and Mr AIG is most definitely human. The way I see it mate, Fergie fucked up with his comments and thats why he’s not standing by them today.

    Has Rio’s stance changed in any way at all since the weekend?

    Of course not, and thats because he’s not the one who fucked up. If anything, Rio’s stance has been fully vindicated by Fergie’s decision to stop making ill-advised threats.

    Thankfully our manager has put this all to bed, so we can now call it a storm in a tea-cup and move on. Its all about Braga anyway.

    Imo the real story is our manager having the class to perform a COMPLETE 360 – he’s been pivoting like Messi on crack this afternoon and thats because he put himself in an indefensible position.

    Scott was bang on with his initial response imo.

    Im just glad to see our manager sounding sane again.

  15. mig78 says:

    wayne, well sad. No way Rio can play 3 games a week. Would prefer him rested and ready for the Chelsea match. I strongly believe any team SAF pick tomorrow will do the job so long as we don’t start Giggs and Scholes in the middle.
    Fletcher & Cleverly & Ando will make sure the middle of the park is a no tresspass zone. If we rule the midfield, the game is as good as in the bag.

  16. United Till I Die says:


    calm down ffs.

    look at our next 5 games its obvious we’re about to see our Squad used to its fullest extent and that includes players like Rio and Evra getting a rest.

    there is nothing “sinister” about that whatsoever.

  17. ididnotzeeit says:

    Here, here to Fletcher, Clev and Ando in the middle tomorrow. There’s enough energy there to light the stadium. Blood Wotton now, see where he stands, should we need a CB against lesser lites in the league then we’ll have a better idea of what he’s capable of.

  18. parryheid says:

    For fucks sake leave Fletcher messing around with the reserves or at best on the bench he is nowhere near a first team return.We can’t go playing people on sentiment or in others case to clock up their appearances numbers.

  19. Union Jack says:

    @ UTID
    I know this makes me seem really pedantic but I think you mean “complete 180″ if he did a 360 he would be back to his first position.

  20. denton davey says:

    Ididnotzeeit @ 14:45: ” if Carrick dropping into CB means game time for the likes of Cleverley, Fletcher, Anderson then it’s a positive spin as well.”

    THAT should work – and be very interesting, too. A very attacking unit.

  21. ididnotzeeit says:

    @ parryheid

    Who said anything about sentiment? No sir, not for me, it would be based on the gaffer’s best judgement. If memory serves me correctly than he’s played some senior football so far this season. I’m guessing you feel a run out for Fletcher wouldn’t buoy his spirits in terms of the work he’s been putting in to get back? It’s called rewarding his efforts, not sentiment. Anyone who thinks SAF would select based on sentiment is entitled to their own, but if he gets a run out than I’d be comfortable with him in a midfield 3.

  22. WeAreRed says:


    I also have to disagree with you here too mate, as U.T.I.D. states, just about everyone seems to be siding with Rio on this and that should be the case. This is a racial issue, and unless you’ve been directly affected by this at some point, you cant be quick to judge as Fergie was in this case. Credit to him for realising his mistake and downplaying the whole thing today, as it’s obvious this was not really about KIO itself but about Fergie being made to look a fool as he stated “its an embarrassment to ME”. But anyways, onto the football.

    Looking forward to the Braga game. Hoping Wooton partners Evans in defense with Fletch/Tom/Ando in the midfield and Kagawa and Nani in there somewhere. Dont care too much for Ashley Young, got a feeling he will struggle for game time. Chicha could do with a start though, he might not have the all round game of Welbeck, but he would be maximising on those opportunities that DannyBoy has been fluffing. It would be nice to c the gaffer show him the same level of trust thats been given to Danny despite his indecisiveness in front of goal.

    3-1 to United is my prediction

  23. Marq says:

    I would lock in Fletcher for the Chelsea game, I really cannot see how we are going to stop Mata, Hazard & Oscar with Carrick & Scholes. The saving grace against Chelsea is that they don’t have a striker to save them.

    For midweek
    Rafael Evans Wooton Buttner
    Nani Clev Ando Young
    Hernandez Welbeck

    Rafael Rio Evans Evra
    Valencia Fletcher Carrick
    Rooney Kagawa

  24. MyCowIsTheBest says:

    Great. This issue has been bugging me since the first story came out. So to learn that the issue has been resolved is a great tune to my ears.

    But whether the issue has been resolved correctly, that remains to be seen. I just have to put my trust in Sir Alex, because I know he knows better than anybody else that we can’t afford to lose Rio right now with our centre half options still thin.

  25. wayne says:

    Rio being rested has fuck all to do with his refusal to wear a t shirt end of story

  26. FletchTHEMAN says:

    You lads giving the manager stick are just so off base. Buying the ABU craze for WHY WHO WHAT AND WHAT IF….. Like the suggestion bought by all that Rio was fined 2 weeks wages….From the freekin Sun for the love of the Gods. Roll on you toads.

    I love the assumption that Fergie lost this. On what evidence? For all you know, Rio did get fined and Did say I’m sorry. You don’t know squat.

    But Alex is a big man and isn’t going to grace your buffet with the dirty laundry. He said what needed saying to stop the story.

    As I said. You lot siding with Piers “freakin” Morgan. Must have made his day. Not mine.

  27. parryheid says:


    The fact that Fletcher has had a couple of outings cannot and does not hide the issue he has not recovered the energy needed by a long way.And to play in this team effectively he is going to need that if we are to see the Fletcher of old,pains me but he doesn’t look good at all.Be quite a while yet in my eyes till we see his bustling snappy tackles in midfield and we cant afford to play about in the Champions league or we will get a repeat of last years showing.I’d rather not have that thanks very much.and I have and continue to see players in on sentiment and adding to their tally.

  28. United Till I Die says:

    @Union Jack – I was actually gonna add a post making the same point but then I thought it would be a bit pedantic. Clearly not! Theres a movie scene where the same point is made, can’t remember which but I’ve def seen it. Tbf I can understand why people insist on saying 360 – wherever the Earth is tonight in relation to the Sun, when its back in roughly the same position around this time next year nobody can argue that nothing has changed during that 360 revolution…. but thats waaaay off topic haha. If it makes any difference I did say Fergie needed to do a “180″ on the other page. Devil’s advocate and all that.

    Im just glad to see the manager nipped this in the bud, hence zero discussion on it ahead of a huge match. Much ado about nothing.

  29. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Interesting idea: Rio and others to form a new players union to address racist issues.

    Did I say something about politics?

  30. United Till I Die says:


    Wow. I fully expected Rio to do this sort of thing once he retires but I guess his hand has been forced. I know he’s often portrayed as a thick wide boy but he’s neither, he’s actually a sharp lad. If it goes ahead as planned I think it will be brilliant. All these old fat fucks cashing huge cheques and patting themselves on the back in “the fight against racism” have to be stopped. Its 2012 not 1912.

    The PFA Chief Gordon Taylor was on TV today slagging off Rio for “firing bullets” at Kick It Out, so you’ve got to ask what breed of Cunt can say that after the Ferdinand family had REAL BULLETS posted through their front door? It beggars belief really, but thats what happens when you allow yourself to be mugged off. RIo is spot on and its not like the number of black players lighting up the league is set to fall any time soon.

    I just hope this doesn’t affect the end of his glorious career. Shouldn’t do. Not even the FA giving John Terry headstart after headstart could stop Rio from being the best English defender of his generation. As long as his football isn’t affected im all for it.

    Im sure it has the full backing of the manager as well :wink:

  31. Mr C says:

    Common sense prevails..there was no sense in dwelling on the matter to the detriment of the team. The only winners would have been the ABU press, JT and those clowns at the FA.


You must be logged in to post a comment.