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Ferguson Accuses Spurs Over Fryers Transfer

Sir Alex Ferguson has voiced his frustration over Zeki Fryers £3m move from Standard Liege to Spurs. The youngster left United in the summer for the Belgium club after Spurs refused to pay United’s asking price. As he was out of contract, a tribunal would have set the transfer fee, as United were entitled to compensation because he came from our academy.

As Standard Liege are a foreign club, they’re not restricted to the same rules as other English clubs, so they signed him at a minimal cost. Given they have sold him just six months later, it appears as though Spurs came to an agreement with the Belgian club at the time, so that Spurs could get the player at a cut down price and Standard Liege could make a profit for having a player on their books for six months.

“There’s nothing we can do about it but we should really register our discontent,” Fergie said. “The registration should be stopped. To me, I think it’s a blatant manipulation of the rules. Tottenham did nothing wrong as he went to Standard Liege. They tried to buy him off us and we’d been looking for a certain figure. They wouldn’t pay it but asked if they could take him down there on trial and, at that time, he was out of contract in June anyway. So he went down on trial and he went to Portugal with them. They then said they weren’t prepared to pay the money and, all of a sudden, he signed for Standard Liege. We knew immediately and suspected that he would return to Tottenham in January and that’s happened.”

Spurs have responded to Ferguson’s accusations by claiming that Fryers was homesick and that no pre-arranged deal had been made.

“Zeki enjoyed his time at Standard – however, when Standard sacked their manager in November Zeki wasn’t part of the new manager’s plans which he accepts and understands happens in football. Unfortunately, a combination of this and the fact he had become homesick meant he wanted to return to England. His representatives made contact with clubs in England. This afforded us a second opportunity to sign the player and as per Fifa’s solidarity contribution mechanism, Manchester United will receive 5% of the transfer fee we have paid.”

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.

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  1. SSG says:

    Mara; maybe, but we’ll keep trying, thanks anyway. Also, it seems Fergie wanted this player, he just didn’t want to pay him.

  2. TheCANTONA says:

    LOL. u bought a youngster without paying his original owner u also compare this to Berba which is fair to say stupid comparison. and then again u first accused SAF for tapping up players but now conceded its common thing in football because u suddenly realized Levy and any Spurs managers did the same too. if u cant see which one is worse than u’re absolutley blind.

  3. parryheid says:

    It costs a considerable number of millions to operate an Academy the like of Carrigton and logical United want’s a fair return for any player we deem not to our standard after many years of cosseting them looking for jewels.the paste copies are of a standard your club Tottenham can only dream about.You cant breed them so revert to fich them rather than pay a fair perice. Cheapskates nothing less.

  4. SSG says:

    King Eric; yes, that 2nd half was almost as one sided for you as the first half was for us. You do know they count all the goals, right?

  5. King Eric says:

    Parryheid. Quality post!

    Tony. Never wanted that over rated bastard Modric at United. His level was Spurs. Look at the fag this week making his excuses for being out his depth at Madrid. Cheers for Carrick though. A bargain at 18 million. 4 league titles and a European Cup. What you won in that time?

  6. samuel - united WE stand says:

    SSG – why else would you come on here? Were you trying to plan joyous collaboration with united fans?. Secondly, fergie feels united should have had the right fee paid for one of its ex pupils which it’s spent years of effort developing, nothing more. Like i said, he.s decent and will probably forge a career but united will lose no sleep over him.

  7. SSG says:

    TheCANTONA; like many football fans, you seem to think getting one over on another club is OK, but when it happens to your club it’s bad.

    Levy beat Fergie this time.

  8. mara says:

    SSG you talk about Zeki like he is Neymar, so he turned down SAF s offer :-) really funny…SAF is not mad about guy turned down the offer, but the way he left the club. He is no Messi that we will cry over him. It is just about us that some kid and Levy makeing us fools..

  9. SSG says:

    samuel – united WE stand; I came on because it appeared on Spurs Newsnow feed. I commented because SAF is amusing when he gets self rightous. I don’t blame Fergie for wanting a fee, but he won’t get one because Levy foxed him. I think that’s funny too.

  10. King Eric says:

    SSG. United didn’t turn up first half. Simple as. Dare say you have released a DVD of that game. One off games matter not. What DOES matter is the table. How many points behind are you?

  11. SSG says:

    Anyway, cheers for the banter, but I have some work to do. Enjoy the weekend

  12. Costas says:

    Actually I get why Spurs fans would be upset at how the Berbatov saga unfolded. Kind of went through the same thing when Ronaldo decided he wanted to leave in the middle of a 4 year contract. Of course they weren’t nearly as upset when Robbie Keane left in similar circumstances but that’s another issue…

    As for someone saying Levy won 5 rounds in his battles with United, a nice fairytale but plenty of bullshit in it as well. For one thing, Juande Ramos (not Jol) was the Tottenham manager when Berbatov joined United. Also, there has never been any record of UNited making 2 approaches about Modric. You think Fergie wanted to do business again with Tottenham after they spiked up Berbatov’s transfer fee by 10 million? Fat chance.

    Anyway, Thanks for the Berb. Helped us land the historic 19th title. You can enjoy Zeki. 8)

  13. TheCANTONA says:

    jeezz,, u still just couldnt get it do u??? i’m so tired now so i wont enlarge this discussion anymore. if u’re so happy with the way u acted about this Fryers well fair play to u then. just hope u’ll get the same experience in the future.

  14. mara says:

    We payed 5% less for Dimi then Citeh offered. Why did t you pay to us 5 mills? You are against that what SAF did, but when you do that, then is it ok? If it is not ok, then it is not ok and you dont do that. In Croatia plays at least two players wich are now better than Modric.
    And you can be happy that you can win us only when we have bad day…

  15. Costas says:

    As for the Fryers case, I guess it’s obvious what’s happened. Morally it’s underhanded but typically, I don’t think United have a case. Spurs just bended the rules to their advantage. Just like we did with Pogba.

  16. SSG says:

    King Eric

    1. Oh so it was an invalid victory? I’ll alert the FA
    2. No. All that crappy play from ManU in the 1st half (the non-counting half) would make poor viewing.
    3 Dunno; 12? don’t have the table handy. Have you checked with the BBC?

  17. mara says:

    SSG and one thing is sure…even if Citeh and Chelski can give better wages to players, even we have to overpay players, even we have a lot of injuries….SAF is ALWAYS A WINNER! At the end of the season is always one name at the top of the table MANCHESTER UNITED…only when we have a lot of bad luck, like last year, the rest of you can be happy that we didint won a trophy…but the only thing is sure in this league is our winnings

  18. TheCANTONA says:

    We paid Le Havre back then even though Le Havre didnt have formal contract with Pogba before.

  19. King Eric says:

    Costas. Hello mate. Spot on at ten to eleven.

  20. Costas says:


    Yes but only after the case was viewed by FIFA and the 2 clubs reached an agreement. Originally, we signed him for nothing taking advantage of that contract loophole in hi. Which is more or less what Tottenham did with Fryers.

    @King Eric

    Cheers mate. Hope you are well.

  21. Costas says:

    *of that contract loophole.* I meant.

  22. mara says:

    I said then that was not right, but we payed then, wich now will not happend…

  23. Wakey says:

    The talk of United tapping up Berbatov is pure conjecture. Not once did anyone from the club mention Berba (Unlike Liverpool who were mentioning Keane every other sentence). Levy got on his high horse about us supposedly tapping up Berba when a story appeared in the Sun claiming the Norweign version of the official site had announced the signing but that was completely false. A Norweign United site did announce it but was an unofficial supporters site which was using the reports in the British Media and had reported a number of other signings which were never in the pipeline on the same basis.

    By all accounts at the point of the sun article United and Spurs had agreed a fee in the low 20’s but this report which Levy either didnt bother confirming or simply decided to make United pay for Liverpools tapping up of Keane made him ask for more which is why it dragged on until deadline day. Spurs then got lucky when City got their money and it was this and the fact United wouldn’t want to have wasted a summer hammering out a deal for him to go elsewhere and certainly not to city that forced them to panic and have to pay over the odds rather than any ridiciousle tapping up claim which would have been traced back to an unofficial fan site

  24. Wakey says:


    Actually I believe a fee was paid eve before they kicked up a fuss. After FIFA agreed United had done everything by the book an additional amount was paid simply to put the issue to bed rather than risk La Harve dragging it on for years by taking it to any court that would listen.

  25. Ash says:

    We have got Fabio,Buttner and Blackett (Loved how he performed in Pre seasons). Enjoy with fryers.

  26. Costas says:


    I looked at the case on wikipedia and it doesn’t say anything about Le Havre getting a sum. Just Pogba and his family. There’s a chance you could be right about that, but we will probably never know for sure. The agreemenes between the clubs were disclosed.

  27. Wakey says:


    Even if a player doesn’t have a contract due to the laws in that country as was the case with Pogba the FIFA rules dictates that a development fee still has to be paid. At Pogbas age at the time it wouldn’t have been that much (The years he was at United are the years FIFA consider the most important and costly for clubs so Juve paid somewhere between £300-800k for him which is still peanuts and well below what the FA considers fair hence why we would have got Millions if he had gone to say City) but La Harve would have got something and the fact that the announcement was that dispute had been settled suggests an added extra was added (Unless ofc they realised they were in the wrong and FIFA’s finding were correct and they would have just been wasting money fighting it further so settled for the development fee)

  28. Gee says:

    LOL I think its Spuds trying to show they are in the big league now!! Problem is that SAF will take it personally and will now not only come after your youngsters but as you spud fans say ‘will tap up’ Bale and sign him and then anyone else we want from your small time club. If we can do it to Le Arse, what chance have the small North London club got. LOL brilliant!!


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