Sunday 18 February 2018

No change expected in Ferguson stance

Alex Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images
Alex Ferguson. Photo: Getty Images

Alan Shearer does not expect to see Sir Alex Ferguson on Match of the Day this season.

Ferguson refused to speak with the BBC after yesterday's 2-2 draw at Fulham, as he done since 2004 when the BBC made allegations against his son Jason as part of a documentary.

The Manchester United manager demanded an apology, which the BBC have refused to supply, leading to the lengthy stand-off, which the Premier League had hoped would be resolved.

Instead, Ferguson has stuck to his stance, even though it leaves United open to a fine, and Shearer does not expect the situation to alter.

"Sir Alex is a man of his word and a man of principle," Shearer told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I don't think he will speak to us again."

United have already made it clear they support Ferguson in his stance, which is just as well given they, rather than the Scot himself, will be the ones who are punished when the Premier League decide exactly what to do next.

Chief executive Richard Scudamore, chairman Sir David Richards and secretary Mike Foster will reach a conclusion at a Premier League board meeting at the end of next month.

Although United were party to the new rule, which requests clubs ensure their managers speak to all domestic rights-holders before and after matches, the only reason they opted not to challenge it was the certain knowledge they would lose any vote 19-1.

The club have long been aware of how implacable Ferguson's stance is and feel the new rule was brought in purely to resolve a single issue, when, in truth, it had little chance of success.

Indeed, there are some at Old Trafford who believe the Scot has taken the only course of action available to him given how petty he would seem if he abandoned a point of principle at the first hint of financial penalty.

It has been suggested that a growing fine, which would start at around £1,000, would be applied.

But over a 38-game season, that move would appear futile and leave the Premier League open to ridicule when it is clearly going to make absolutely no difference.

Press Association

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