Fergie ends BBC boycott
Alex Ferguson has agreed to end his seven-year boycott of the BBC after finally dropping his demand for an apology from the corporation.
Ferguson has refused to co-operate with the BBC since 2004 when BBC3 aired a programme examining the relationship between Manchester United and his son, Jason, who at the time was a football agent. The programme highlighted the number of United players on the books of Jason Ferguson's agency, Elite Management, and his role in transfers with the club.
The issues were widely reported at the time and United ended all commercial relationships with Jason Ferguson's Elite Management before the programme aired. Ferguson took particular exception to the BBC coverage, however, and for years insisted he would only end his boycott if they apologised. He appears to have dropped that demand following discussions with BBC director general Mark Thompson.
Thompson and Peter Salmon, the director of BBC North, met Ferguson in early summer and asked him to reconsider his position. Two months later, Ferguson has agreed, though no formal reason was given for the climbdown.
In a statement, United said: "Alex Ferguson and the BBC have decided to put behind them the difficulties which led to Alex feeling unable to appear on BBC programmes... the issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties." (© Daily Telegraph, London)