Are Fergie’s football ‘friendships’ to close for comfort?
How far do his friendships go?
Manchester United one of the World’s biggest football establishments have since the 1960s been synonymous with sporting success. Trophies, glamour and influence on the English game have gone hand-in-hand with Global fame. However, there has been a growing concern on my part at the greater confidence by which their circus master, undoubtedly very successful one at that, has expressed his friendships with a number of managers at rival clubs. Sam Allardyce, Alex Mcleish and Tony Pullis come immediately to mind. Mr Ferguson’s recent outburst at the sacking of his mate Sam, who had called him only hours earlier for a chat over a cup of tea, just appeared so inappropriate for a person holding such a prominent position at a major company. Consider the boss of BP making such a public remark about another company director. The teams of his allies always appear to put in a much bigger shift against his title rivals and are often particularly physical in their approach. By contrast, I believe Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn for example lost by 4 goals or more to Man U on 4/5 occasions during his reign.
The graciousness of his friends in defeat to his team I find a little disconcerting in stark contrast to the often spiteful gripes they express to his rivals. He can always rely on their supporting comments in the press whenever criticism of him is raised. Then there is the case of Fergie’s son Darren who despite no real football experience has landed himself some fairly big management positions at Championship teams.
I respect Alex Ferguson for his achievements at both Aberdeen and Manchester Unitedand certainly do not think it inappropriate for him to make friends. However, there is something rather unprofessional about the open favouritisms shared amongst his groupies that only serve to support the perception that he and his club are the ‘untouchables’. Over the years, many of the top managers have expressed their opinions with Mourhino and Wenger being the most notable. But they always seem to maintain an honourable distance from actually expressing special friendships with their competitors. I would certainly have reservations if the manager of my club appeared to be in the pocket of another’s.