Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography: Rock Of Gibraltar 'misunderstanding' did not sidetrack me at all from managerial duties
Just two pages dedicated to the pages in his autobiography to bitter row with former friends and United shareholders J P McManus and John Magnier
Sir Alex Ferguson dedicated just two paragraphs among his 350 page autobiography to the bitter row between him and his former friends, and Manchester United shareholders, JP McManus and John Magnier over the ownership of the racehorse Rock Of Gibraltar.
The row that blew up over the successful horse and Ferguson’s claim on the stud rights, consumed the club from Ferguson’s first legal action in January 2003 to the legal settlement in March 2004 and beyond to the Glazer takeover in May 2005. McManus and Magnier owned almost 30 per cent of the club and eventually sold out to the current owner, the Glazers.
Over that period, the two Irish investors Cubic Expression group applied serious pressure to Ferguson, forcing the then plc board into an internal investigation into the dealings of his son and agent Jason. Their famous leaked list of “99 questions” to the United board resulted in the investigation that saw Jason banned for representing further players at the club.
Asked about it in his press conference on Tuesday, Ferguson said that he had an agreement with Magnier that neither would talk about it. In his autobiography, he wrote “we reached a settlement agreeing that there had been a misunderstanding on both sides.” He later added that he felt “awkwardness” when he was challenged on the saga by a fan at a club AGM but that “at no point was I sidetracked from my duties as manager of Manchester United”.
That explanation may not sit so well with supporters who felt that the episode in which the key figure at the club sued the major shareholders, unsettled United significantly. Others would also argue that it opened the door for the Glazer family takeover, which h as proved so unpopular.
To argue that the issue was simply a “misunderstanding” would be to grievously underplay a very bitter, unhappy dispute in which Ferguson originally claimed lost earnings on £110m, half the value of the Rock of Gibraltar, which won a record seven consecutive Group 1 races.
Sir Alex on...the end of his relationship with David Beckham
Sir Alex on...Beckham and that flying boot
Sir Alex’s reign in pictures
Sir Alex on...the ‘battle of the buffet’ after Arsenal victory
Sir Alex on…turning down the England job twice
Sir Alex on… Rafa Benitez turning their rivalry personal
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
Radamel Falcao analysis: Manchester United have signed a top talent yet to hit his stride
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing of striker from Manchester United
Radamel Falcao to Manchester United: Louis van Gaal takes transfer spend beyond £140m - SIXTH most of any Premier league manager
- 1 Emma Watson on Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak: 'Even worse than seeing women's privacy violated is reading the comments'
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: It is only rape if the victim is conscious
- 5 Nigerian witch-finder Helen Ukpabio threatens legal action against human rights organisations
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain