Alex Ferguson resolves 'Kick It Out' dispute with Rio Ferdinand and is ready to offer defender new contract at Manchester United

 

Sir Alex Ferguson says his dispute with Rio Ferdinand has been resolved and went on to suggest the defender will be offered a new contract during a press conference today.

The pair were set on a collision course after Ferdinand opted not to wear a T-shirt carrying the name of anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out.

Ferdinand's decision was seemingly a protest at how racism in football is currently being dealt with, including the case involving his brother Anton and John Terry, for which the latter was found guilty of racial abuse.

Before the weekend's matches, Ferguson had said he thought all players should wear the T-shirts, and fully expected his players to conform.

Yet ahead of Manchester United's home match against Stoke, Ferdinand opted not to wear it, the only United player to do so.

After the match, a visibly angry Ferguson said he had been embarrassed by Ferdinand's actions and the player would be "dealt with".

Yet Ferguson said today: "The issue is pretty simple. There was a communication problem.

"He felt I should have spoken to him on Friday and I didn't anticipate there would be any problem in the dressing room as far as the T-shirt was concerned.

"I have listened to the conviction of Rio and I think it is quite compelling. I can understand his stance.

"But I think you are always stronger as a union. There's more solidarity than as a single unit.

"The advice I would give is that he should take it up with the proper authorities. It is only through that he will make his voice heard.

"Obviously as the manager of the club when you lay down policy you don't want to see it being ignored. That's where my anger came on Saturday.

"But we have resolved the situation, there are no lingering problems and we move on. That is the end of the matter."

The two met yesterday after Ferdinand had arrived for a training session, when the United manager explained that it was the lack of advance notice from the player of his intention to boycott the anti-racism campaign which had angered him. The 33-year-old has apologised to Ferguson for that but has not voiced any contrition for the act itself.

Ferguson went on to suggest that Ferdinand, who is in the last year of his contract, will be offered a new deal at Old Trafford.

"Rio can play for two or three years," said Ferguson.

"He has different issues from Paul (Scholes) or Ryan (Giggs) in terms of injuries over the last couple of years.

"He is not as quick as he was but that is not a big problem because his experience is important.

"He is still a great footballer and, even at 33, there is no reason why he can't stay on."

Ferdinand has been linked with a lucrative switch to the United States where the Chicago Fire would relish the chance of signing him – or alternatively China or Russia.

Ferguson continued: "We have always adopted that policy of offering one-year contracts, so we will see as the season progresses.

"I didn't even realise his contract was up. You are making me panic."

Ferdinand's boycott at the weekend was not staged lightly and he was undecided throughout Friday about the merits of rejecting a T-shirt. It is understood that his boycott was substantially motivated by the personal indignation he felt about comments made by the chairman of Kick It Out, Lord Ouseley, on Friday afternoon, six hours after Ferguson had stated that all his players would wear the T-shirts.

Lord Ouseley told the BBC that he had "no intention of speaking for black footballers who are very wealthy and earning a lot of money" who "have to be organised and speak for themselves". Ferdinand does not feel that, after his tough upbringing in Peckham, south London, that he needs to be told by Lord Ouseley how he should be dealing with racism in the game.

There is a view among many within the game that Ferguson was too quick to make his attack on Jason Roberts, who was the first black player to come out and say he would refuse to wear the shirt. Ferguson made his comments during a press conference on Friday, instead of waiting to discuss the issue with his players as some other managers had done.

Roberts, who also thought deeply about his decision not to wear a Kick It Out shirt, will this week offer to meet the organisation to discuss how he can help it to make more of an impact in counteracting the racism which still permeates the game. Since Kick It Out operates with five staff and a budget of only £300,000, lobbying for more realistic funding is part of the battle.

Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Life & Style
life
Arts & Entertainment
Back in the suit: There are only so many variations you can spin on the lives or adventures of Peter Parker
filmReview: Almost every sequence and set-up in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems familiar from some earlier superhero film
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon in Game of Thrones
tv
Life & Style
Father and son: Michael Williams with son Edmund
lifeAs his son’s bar mitzvah approaches, CofE-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys he’s experienced in learning about his family’s other faith
Arts & Entertainment
Ian Anderson, the leader of British rock band Jethro Tull, (right) and British guitar player Martin Barre (left) perform on stage
musicJethro Tull frontman leads ‘prog rock’ revival
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Who laughs lass: Jenny Collier on stage
comedy... writes Jenny Collier, the comedian whose recent show was cancelled because there were 'too many women' on the bill
News
House proud: keeping up with the Joneses now extends to children's playhouses
newsLuxury playhouses now on the market for as much as £800
News
news
Life & Style
Stir it up: the writer gets a lichen masterclass from executive chef Vivek Singh of the Cinnamon restaurants
food + drinkLichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines
Extras
indybest
Arts & Entertainment
Ken Loach (left) and Mike Leigh who will be going head to head for one of cinema's most coveted prizes at this year's Cannes Film Festival
filmKen Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
News
The academic, Annamaria Testa, has set out on her website a list of 300 English words that she says Italians ought to stop using
newsAcademic speaks out against 'Italianglo' - the use of English words in Italian language
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit