Sir Alex Ferguson yesterday launched a staunch defence of Roberto Mancini's handling of the Carlos Tevez affair, declaring that managing players who are dominated by their agents was making the manager's role a difficult and complex one.
Tevez's disciplinary hearing with Manchester City yesterday was preceded by a leak of information allegedly confirming that the club were unable to prove that the striker had refused to take to the field of play in Munich last month. Ferguson backed Mancini, declaring that the manager whom he will encounter in tomorrow's Manchester derby at Old Trafford had received inadequate praise.
Ferguson, who endured a difficult relationship both with Tevez (right) and his adviser Kia Joorabchian before deeming the Argentine was not worth the trouble and sanctioning the decision not to retain him in the summer of 2009, said: "Management today is a complex situation. A lot of players today are dominated by their agent. You get agents who buy their groceries, do their travel, polish their boots. That is the kind of human being you are having to deal with these days with some agents. Some other agents are quite responsible and allow the players to have their own responsibilities and do things themselves like buy their house, buy their car and do their banking. But others dominate their lives. Any manager coming into the game today – it is not an easy job. It is different from when I started. It is much, much more complex and more difficult to deal with."
Tevez could be charged with "failing to follow the manager's instructions", following a 90-minute disciplinary hearing before the club's chief operating officer, Graham Wallace, which went ahead at 2pm yesterday at a solicitors' office in central Manchester. He denies the charge and would be able to appeal against such a decision – both to another City director and to the Premier League. It was a sign of the protracted, public battle the disciplinary process is likely to be for the club when – contrary to a prior agreement between the two sides not to leak information pertaining to the case – an apparently substantial body of evidence was leaked. The evidence apparently confirms that amid the chaos of City's game at Bayern Munich the club was unable to demonstrate that Tevez refused to play as well as to warm up. Refusing to warm up would constitute a breach of contract.
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