What a fuss we had over the summer concerning the transfer of Dimitar Berbatov. Tottenham Hotspur were not very happy with us and their chairman, Daniel Levy, said all sorts of mean things about Sir Alex Ferguson.

“This is a blatant example of sheer arrogance and interference with one of our players,” Levy said. “The behaviour of both clubs has been disgraceful. We told both clubs very early on that we had no interest in selling Robbie or Dimitar and that they should refrain from pursuing the player. Both clubs arrogantly chose to ignore this request and we now have evidence that both clubs have systematically been working to prise the players away from us.”

So, when Middlesbrough told Daniel Levy on numerous occasions they had no interest in selling Stuart Downing, what did he do? Did he: a) politely refrain from pestering Boro and bidding for Downing like he’d been told, b) arrogantly pursue and interfere with Downing, or c) arrogantly pursue and interfere with Downing, as well as offering an insultingly pitiful transfer fee?

December 30th 2008
“We are not looking to sell during the January transfer window,” said Southgate. “We want to be a stable football club and we believe that the best policy, if we are to make progress, is to keep our best players. We know that there will be a lot of speculation and stories flying around over the next few weeks, most of them without any substance. It’s important that we keep calm. We are not looking to lose our better players.”

January 2nd 2009
“Spurs have expressed an interest in Stewart but we’re not interested in selling him,” Southgate said. “We need to keep hold of our best players.”

January 3rd 2009
Spurs put in £6 mill bid for Downing.

January 4th 2009
“Who on earth do Spurs think they are?” said Keith Lamb, Boro’s chief executive. “They bleated away when Dimitar Berbatov left for Manchester United in the summer – but they sold at top dollar. Then they want to snatch other players for derisory offers and try to unsettle players. That is what has happened here. Their offer is a joke. Why would we sell our best players to our nearest rivals? Stewart is going nowhere.”

January 5th 2009 AM
“I repeat: none of our senior players will be leaving the Riverside Stadium this month,” said Steve Gibson, Boro chairman. “We’ve got a talented group of players and it’s time for us to knuckle down and focus on the job in hand. As far as we’re concerned, this is now an end to the matter.”

“I can confirm that we have received an offer from Spurs for Stewart Downing and I can also confirm that we have rejected that offer,” Gibson said. “I’ve spoken to Daniel Levy and told him categorically that their interest is not welcome. I’ve also told him that we will not entertain any further offers for Stewart or, for that matter, any other senior member of our squad.”

January 5th 2009 PM
Spurs put in £11 million bid for Downing

January 6th 2009
“I am adamant that nobody will be leaving in January and that Gareth Southgate will be working with the same squad of players at the beginning of February,” said Gibson. “The January transfer window is feeding time for the sharks. But we will fight to keep this squad together because we know we have a lot of quality here.”

January 7th 2009
Spurs put in a £14.5 million bid for Downing

United were told Berbatov was not for sale, but we continued to bid after him regardless. Levy slaughtered us in the press for doing so, calling us ‘arrogant’ and ‘disgraceful’. Boro say they will not sell the player, over and over, yet Tottenham arrogantly and disgracefully continue to pursue him too. Berbatov wanted to leave Spurs and Downing wants to leave Boro. Somehow Levy thinks it’s acceptable for him to continue pursuing a player whose club have said is not for sale, but when someone does it to one of his players, he’s all over the press every day. Levy called United hypocrites for doing this because of Ronaldo and Real Madrid, then he goes on to behave in exactly the same way.

Daniel Levy, what a wanker.