Sir Alex Ferguson has his problems with the BBC over a TV show which claimed his son, Jason Ferguson, who was a football agent at the time, was up to some dodgy dealings. So our manager fucked them off.
More and more organisations and people have been added to Ferguson’s hate list since, with the manager picking and choosing who he will and won’t speak to depending on the latest situation.
In the pre-season, Sir Alex Ferguson gave an interview with the press who had travelled over to South Africa. When questioned about our title rivals, Ferguson pondered on how much room for improvement there was with the Chelsea team, given their wealth of experience. The headlines the next day read “Fergie Thinks Chelsea Are Too Old To Win The Title.” He kicked off about it and said he wouldn’t give them their interviews again.
So, is our great manager out of order?
Matthew Syed of The Times thinks so.
The BBC, which pays almost £60 million a year on behalf of licence-fee payers for Premier League highlights, has not had access to Ferguson since 2004, ever since it aired a BBC Three documentary about his dealings with his son Jason, a football agent at the time. It is understood that Ferguson’s boycott of our national broadcaster will never be rescinded.
This is nothing less than scandalous, not least when you consider that United have a contractual obligation to put up a senior management figure for interview, as well as a moral responsibility to the millions of fans who tune in on Saturday and Sunday evenings hoping to hear the views of the single most important and knowledgeable person in English football.
The BBC “insulted the honour” of Jason, according to Sir Alex. Had the BBC been prepared to apologise for the programme, Ferguson would give them post match interview. As it is, they feel they have done no wrong, so won’t apologise. That is their prerogative. Equally so, it is Ferguson’s choice to decline to speak to them. The current manager of the Portuguese national team was giving United’s post match interviews on Match of the Day for the past few years. Is he not “senior” enough?
Regardless, if the BBC are prepared to pay £60 million of license-payers fees to get Premiership football but aren’t prepared to say a five letter word to the most prestigious manager in the game, for the sake of their viewers, than that is their look out.
Give it time and Ferguson will think nothing of banning opposition managers from Old Trafford on the ground that they dared suggest they might beat United.
I’m not quite sure how to respond to this comment. Maybe I should put my primary school hat on and think of a suitable retort, like, ner ner ner ner ner. What kind of a fucking stupid remark is that.
Ferguson will change only if confronted. That is why Sky Sports should give him a taste of his own medicine by “boycotting” payment of United’s share of the television rights income, estimated at a total of about £50 million. That is the only thing that might persuade the United board to bring into line a manager whose behaviour – and I choose my words carefully – shames English football.
That, or Manchester United will just sell the TV rights for their games to Setanta instead, meaning that Sky Sports won’t show any matches involving the Champions of England. Perfect.
As for the last, carefully chosen comment, of Sir Alex Ferguson shaming English football, you can only laugh. You only have to read his recent articles to understand why he is so precious about our manager. Considering the fella got a First from Oxford, you know it can’t be any problems with his intelligence which lead him to write such nonsense!
Whilst I think Syed’s article is nothing but an irate and bitter rant, which is more emotional and desperate than a lady during that “special” time of the month, my opinion on Ferguson’s boycotts is split.
I think his battle with the BBC is due to stubbornness, on the BBC’s part as much as our manager’s, so don’t see a problem with him not being the first to back down. If the BBC want to spend their license-payers’ money wisely, they’ll apologise. If they choose not to, then they know the consequences, simple as that.
I can understand why he went off one about the journalists printing the stories which said Chelsea were too old to win the title. Whilst United fans could have a good laugh about Chelsea’s ageing squad, it was appropriate that supposedly neutral outlets were mocking Chelsea on Fergie’s behalf. He typically is respectful of his opponents and didn’t want to start the season with stories appearing everywhere alluding to the idea he thought Chelsea were a load of has-beens, which provoked all kinds of over-the-top reactions, with Ron Harris claiming Sir Alex was talking out of his arse and John Terry sniping that it was actually United who had peaked, not them.
When I learnt about Ferguson snubbing Sky Sports after the Liverpool game, something Syed rips our manager to shreds for, I admit I had similar feelings. It seemed a bit petty to refuse to do an interview with them because of an early kick off. However, when I thought about it more, I wondered what was Ferguson’s motive. He couldn’t possibly have been making the point that following Benitez’s “break down”, where he went on about how United had the ideal kick-off times whilst Liverpool were treated unfairly, that this was an occasion when Liverpool had been given the upperhand and nobody had bothered to comment on it? Liverpool had a day extra to rest before the earliest match of the weekend took place between our clubs, obviously a game which could prove crucial in the title race, and nobody had batted an eye-lid about it. He didn’t want to get on the telly and look crazy with a list of things to say about it, so instead, decided to say nothing. Maybe then people would pick up on the fact the FSW had been talking bollocks earlier in the season, as it was us who were disadvantaged for this all-important game.
I’m certainly not saying our manager should be able to behave however he wants, but he is a grown-man who will be responsible for his own actions. If he doesn’t want to speak to Sky Sports or the BBC or whoever else, he doesn’t have to. Arsene Wenger, Sam Allardyce or Harry Redknapp have played the boycott card too as they are entitled to do. It’s not as if they don’t give their reaction to a game through some other media outlet. It’s not as if the fans are deprived of hearing what the manager thought about the game.
Whilst Ferguson’s snubbing has the potential to get out of hand, I personally quite enjoy it, given the effect it has on others. I wonder how many other angry little men like Matthew Syed there were out there on Saturday, fuming that they didn’t get to hear Fergie’s crumpled post-match interview following the Liverpool defeat. I’m pretty sure this clown is the only one who would claim the behaviour of our manager “shames” English football though.
Read Pride Of All Europe‘s take on the article.
The RoM 2018-19 Season Preview is available for just £6. It includes an EXCLUSIVE interview with Juan Mata, a Q&A with the country's top journalists, articles by brilliant United writers, and so much more. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.