Alex Ferguson resolves 'Kick It Out' dispute with Rio Ferdinand and is ready to offer defender new contract at Manchester United - News & Comment - Football - The Independent

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.

News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
News
The ecological reconstruction of Ikrandraco avatar is shown in this illustration courtesy of Chuang Zhao. Scientists on September 11, 2014 announced the discovery of fossils in China of a type of flying reptile called a pterosaur that lived 120 millions years ago and so closely resembled those creatures from the 2009 film, Avatar that they named it after them.
SCIENCE
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibition attracted 562,000 visitors to the Tate Modern from April to September
art
Life and Style
Models walk the runway at the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2015
fashionLondon Fashion Week 2014
News
Kenny G
news
News
peopleThe black actress has claimed police mistook her for a prostitute when she kissed her white husband
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week