Monday 23 August 2010

Sir Alex Fergsuon, the BBC and Manchester United's dirty dirty linen

The long running refusal of the Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson to speak to the BBC stems all the way back to 2004. The BBC produced a program that looked into some rather suspicious transfer dealings that had involved Manchester United, Elite and L'Attitude, the agency that Alex Ferguson's son Jason worked for.

The background to this story is also rather interesting, the BBC's investigation was following up on a dispute between Manchester United and their largest shareholders which led to the club's directors to answer 99 questions that probed a number of rather dodgy transfer deals. The reason for this was a nasty spat between Alex Ferguson and major shareholder Magnier over the breeding rights to a certain race horse. The following call was contained in the document detailing the 99 questions:

'The prohibition of payments for player transfers to agents or agencies whose members or directors have a close personal connection with the Company or any officer or employee of the Company.'

All the BBC did was produce a program that explored a few of these matters further. The BBC demonstrated how dodgy some of these transfer dealings were and how corrupt some of the conflicts of interest were concerning these big money moves. FIFA rules were broken and corruption was unearthed, Sir Alex's close ties with the Elite agency were also exposed. It is worth noting that both Jason Ferguson and Elite turned down the chance to have their say on the allegations in the program. Unsurprisingly Manchester United moved to distance themselves from this network of corruption and quickly severed its connections with the Elite agency.

Since then Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to speak to the BBC. Quite rightly the BBC has refused to apologise as all they have done is accurately reported the facts surrounding some rather dodgy transfer dealings. The stand off is due to be addressed at next month's Premier League meeting. This is why the story is hitting the news a bit more frequently of late. Amusingly Magnier and McManus made a fortune by selling their stake to the Glazers shortly after this whole affair in 2005.

In my opinion Sir Alex Ferguson has made himself look incredibly stupid and foolish by boycotting the BBC. If he feels the BBC made clear errors that were libellous that he should have taken them to court, the fact that he has not adds weight to the argument that the BBC have done nothing wrong. It appears that Sir Alex is a rather unpleasant bully who is used to getting his own way by behaving like an aggressive spoilt toddler, it is not working in this case, it is just making him look all the more like the spoilt toddler who stubbornly refuses to admit that they have got it completely wrong. The more one looks at this whole affair the more stupid Sir Alex appears and the more dirt he appears to be hiding under his carpet. The 99 questions have still to be answered.


Anonymous said...

A 100th question should be has Sralix had bottox? Something funng going on with that fellas forehead yesterday!

Anonymous said...

Interesting article, its a shame this story won't get much airtime as murdochs media empire are biased towards murdochs favourite club man utd.

Anytime a negative story around man utd comes up it is quickly brushed under the carpet. Remember when Fergie was accused of molesting a girl whilst the team were on tour in that story disappeared within a questions were answered.

TerryWogan said...

Good article. I wasn't sure why Ferguson was refusing to deal with the beeb so this is enlightening. I thought it was funny when it was highlighted on MOTD2. I think it's fair to say that Fergie is a ropey character at best.

Barndoor Bendtner said...

It doesnt make any difference to me if he gives interviews after matches cos I still cant understand a word the Glasgee twat says.

Anonymous said...

Fergie is a coward for hiding anytime difficult questions are asked.

How many times has Wenger refused to speak to the media?

I can recall only 2 occasions in 12 years. Fergie regularly bans reporters from press conferences if they ask the 'wrong' questions. The media are constantly trying to suck his balls/

Anonymous said...

Ferguson's spats with the BBC go even further back than the documentary - he's not spoken to one of their key commentators, Alan Green, in years. The man's a twat and to be honest I'm glad he doesn't talk to the BBC because it means I don't have to see his face.

Anonymous said...

Just watch Sky Sports for your fill of Fergie interviews.

Always peeking over the fence eh?

Scott the Red said...

Sir Alex Ferguson believed that the programme, named 'Fergie and Son' was "a horrible attack on his son’s honour and he should never have been accused of that."

I hasten to add, Jason Ferguson was never found guilty of any wrong doing.

Are any of you fathers? If someone very publicly made allegations you believed to be false, allegations that were never proven, allegations that you deemed an attack on your son's honour, what would you do?

All Ferguson is doing is refusing to speak to them. I imagine a lot of fathers could do a lot worse.

If the BBC want to apologise for making allegations that were never proven, then they can do, and I imagine the manager will give them their pointless post-match interview.

Those who are slagging off Ferguson for this, I assume you'd have no problem with someone having a go at your lad? You wouldn't mind someone getting a story which accuses them of all sorts in the press and on the telly?

This is about a father and his son. I applaud Ferguson for fighting his son's corner and feel sorry for the son's of people slating Ferguson for doing that.

Arshy said...

Fergie's a brilliant manager, with a nasty stubborn streak, which I guess is one of the reasons he is so successful.

His boycott of the BBC is pathetic though and he should've been forced to end it ages ago, but we have a weak FA and Premier league.

Anonymous said...

Scottthered i applaud you, I totally agree. For all the things people dislike Fergie for, this should not be one of them. He is a man standing up for his child and those accusing him of cowardice or avoiding the questions don't seem to note that he is happy to talk to any other TV channels or media outlets.

Having said that, i'd imagine you are about to suffer the wrath of a few idiots on here who cannot see past their own nose.

Good luck


Arshy said...

scot the red

The thing is though, BBC Sport and the makers of the documentary (Panarama, I think?) aint the same people are they?

Its a slap in the face to the Premier league, United fans and all the sponsors who shell out millions to show the matches and pre and post match interviews.

1979gooner said...


this is indeed a matter concerning a father and a son,

the father is a bullying individual who is used to getting his won way,

the son is a man who was fed some rather lucrative work courtesy of his father and there were some clear conflicts of interest regarding these transfer dealings,

you say that nothing has been proven? well this didn't take place in a court of law, so this isn't the point

the point is that there have been several allegations backed up with facts made against fergie and son

it appears that Fergie and son have both chosen to stay quiet on the matter, they have also taken nothing to court and have not complained about any specific in the program/allegation wise

the BBC have repeatedly stated they have nothing to apologise for and that they have not made any errors

it appears to me that the allegations are as proven as anything outside of a court could be, the fact that Manu so rapidly distanced themselves from Elite speaks for this as well

thus both scottthered and ethan, your interpretation of this as being a noble man standing up for his innocent child is utter tripe, here we have a man who has dirt under his carpet who has tried to bully his way out of a rather dodgy mess, and it has failed,

he has been shown up as the corrupt bullying man he is

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but if there was corruption going on and Fifa rules had been broken then the club and the man would have been punished. Your claims are as unfounded

1979gooner said...

Yeah right.

FIFA rules as regards agents are broken left, right and centre. They are very very rarely enforced.

Using this as evidence that all the allegations were unfounded is nonsensical.

Even if one assumes that the FIFA rule wasn't broken, this was only one of several allegations.

Actually the claims from Magnier and the BBC are well founded.

This is why the bullying scot hasn't taken any legal action, because he knows he has no case.

Anonymous said...

You lot deserve each other, cant see past their Arsenl tinted glasses.

Nice to see the nobility your club supposedly stands for doesn't extend to a man having compassion and looking out for his son.

Personally, I'd do anything for my kids whenever they come along. Arsene would do the same for his daughter and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that should the same situation happen with Arsene in place of Sir Alex then you would back him to the hilt. Your lack of foresight is remarkable. So is your bias

Anonymous said...

full of accusations which you dont back up with evidence.

Scott the Red said...

Arshy - The BBC is the BBC.

Ferguson didn't speak to the BBC after the game. Does that mean United fans don't get to hear Ferguson's opinion on the game? No. I've ready plenty on what Ferguson has had to say about Fulham. Just because he doesn't speak to the BBC it doesn't mean he's shying away from all media outlets.

1979Gooner - At no point did I say Jason was innocent. I was very careful to do that. My opinion on Jason is irrelevant, as is your opinion. I'm talking from the perspective of Ferguson. His reason for not speaking to the BBC is the quote I gave.

If you believed that someone or an organisation made "a horrible attack on your son’s honour that he should never have been accused of" how would you react?

No denying Ferguson is stubborn. Is stubbornness a dreadful attribute? Wenger is fairly stubborn isn't he? I'd associate a stubborn streak with most successful people, determined to get what they want.

Ferguson doesn't want his son's honour to be called in to question. He believed the BBC's programme did exactly that. So, years later, he is still stubbornly refusing to talk to the BBC.

How much will his stubbornness cost him? We'll see I guess. I think it's just £1k this time. But I take no issue with him being stubborn about this and no issue with him standing up for his son. I'd hope my dad would do exactly the same for me and would do the same for my own.

Anonymous said...

Scotthered dont expect any sympathy until it involves Arsenal suffering from it, honestly, not even worth the battle, been there done that

1979gooner said...


(+/- scottthered)

You are now sinking to a weak emotive argument, this is a great sign of someone losing an argument and thus trying to move away from any genuine engagement based on the actual facts of the story.

This has nothing to do with compassion and your pathetic attempt to claim that any man would do the same is nonsense.

The problem is that not many men would have let such blatant conflicts of interest arise in their workplace as Sir Alex did. Having done this and then having had this exposed by Magnier, then the BBC, Ferguson has responded in the one way he knows how, he has reacted aggressively and defensively to primarily protect his own reputation, his son's reputation is a complete red herring.

The fact was Magnier outwitted him and the exposure of the corruption had Fergie in a corner. He then tried to take people's attention away from Manu/Magnier by pinning it all on the BBC. Cunning, but it hasn't pulled the wool over my eyes.

My bias? My Arsenal tinted glasses?

I think not, Fergie's dodgy dealings have been exposed here and you are trying to move away from this by rambling on about a father's love for his child. Oh dear. That's not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes.

Actually what one does for one's kids depends what one's kids have done. If you just blindly stick up for your kids when they have done wrong (bullied a child, been rude to a teacher, etc) and assume your child is always right, then you are not going to be doing the best thing in the long term interests of your child are you? The kind of parent that insults a teacher when that teacher dares suggest that their child may be a disruptive influence in class is not the kind to model yourself on. Just a random example.

Anonymous said...

Can´t see why the boycott doesn't cut both ways. If SAF won't give post match interviews why doesn't MOTD stop showing clips of MAN U matches until he does?

1979gooner said...


Just to re-emphasise that this not primarily an issue of Jason Ferguson's honour. This is all about Fergie's honour. He is trying to sidestep this by just talking about his son, but actually the allegations involve him just as much as Jason. It is clever of Fergie to try and do this, but it is a rather obvious ploy.

Lack of facts to back this up?

How about you have a look at the allegations.

The Stam deal for one example:

"Fergie And Son shows that for Manchester United to sell an established world-class Dutch international, it took a fee of hundreds of thousands of pounds, paid by Lazio, to the manager's son's agency, and a fee of hundreds of thousands of pounds to Morris, whose fee was paid by United.

In an on the record phone conversation, Elite director Francis Martin tells Alex Millar about the Elite role in the transfer:

"Yeah. That was the first. that was the first deal that we did. At the time was (sic) a new company - new start. we asked the question, the deal got done. Lazio asked us - that's the thing. We didn't ask. It wasn't us selling the player. We were asked by Lazio to get the player."

Former Manchester United Chief Executive Office, Peter Kenyon, however, is on the record as saying that the club had no contact with Elite regarding the Stam deal.

The programme also speaks to the player's agent, Ton Van Dalen, who expressed surprise that Lazio paid Elite: "It sounds strange. It seems a lot of people made a lot of money for not a lot of work."

Irregularities surrounding the paperwork involved in the Stam deal are also exposed."

The Stam deal stinks. Ferguson and Son were both involved.

Anonymous said...

Call the cops

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
1979gooner said...

'Call the cops'


The clear conflicts of interest led to Elite being chucked by Manu. This is another thing that is impossible to deny and this is one of the main points of the '99 questions' and the BBC program.

1979gooner said...

Post removed as completely irrelevant to this discussion.

If sad individuals wish to repost their same tired arguments on other subjects then they can go and post them on the old posts. Regards.

1979gooner said...


given this minority of people here who choose to claim that all the allegations made by Magnier/BBC are unproven, would anyone from this minority care to answer?

Were payments for player transfers made to agents or agencies whose members or directors have a close personal connection with the Company or any officer or employee of the Company?

Yes or No?

Arshy said...

As I already, I have a lot of respect for Fergie, especially his old school Labour leanings, but here i think he is way out of line and as much as I can appreciate the boycott being a short term reaction. To STILL do it smacks of arrogance and petty mindedness to me.

And Scott the red, if the BBC is the BBC as you say, then I should refuse to pay my council tax as I once had a dodgy curry at the council canteen in 1986.

1979gooner said...


Another amusing thing is that one of Fergie's rants on the BBC involved falling back on the word of Alastair Campbell!

That's a great way of disproving one's own argument.

Uncle Mike said...

Sir Gumchomper has ever right to stick up for his son. But has he ever come out and said the allegations were lies? Has the son said so? No. Because both men were caught, and they both damn well know it.

They haven't been punished because Manchester United is a cash cow, and thus a sacred cow, and that is one fatted calf that will never be turned into hamburger. Not by the FA, not by UEFA, not by FIFA.

It took Italy the better part of a century to finally get past their fear of retribution from the Agnelli family and punish Juventus for all their wrongdoing. This is how far the FA, UEFA and FIFA have fallen: They have let Italian soccer take a higher moral ground.

Namjack The Real Gooner said...

"All the BBC did"...Mypoic at best is the best way to descrivbe this article. Almost as biased and viscious as the BBC has become over the years.

I'm no fan of Alex Ferguson, but I am pleased he has stuck to his guns and refused to speak with the BBC after they implied that Jason Ferguson had taken bribes and was a disreputable character. Speaking from as a family man, I'd stick up for my (innocent) son too.

Sometimes the bile boiling from a bad history in the blood of the fan sours the brain and shite like the article above gets published.

Arshy said...


What a load of sanctimonious bollocks!

1979gooner said...

Ha Ha!

The BBC 'biased and viscious'!

Again no decent comeback on the facts or points put above, just an emotive ramble about protecting one's innocent son.

What a robust argument. Come back on the specific points if you wish, the emotive rambling doesn't make your argument any stronger.

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