BBC losing boycott battle with Ferguson
Thursday 16 September 2010
The BBC appears to have concluded that it will not be able to persuade Sir Alex Ferguson to fulfill his contractual obligation to provide post-match interviews, despite the Premier League's threat of fines.
The controller of Radio 5 Live, Adrian Van Klaveren, said yesterday that he couldn't see the position with Ferguson changing in the immediate future. "I hope it does but I can't see it happening," he said. The Premier League will discuss the issue at its board meeting early next month but with the United manager set against ending his six-year boycott of the Corporation and with United seemingly ready to pay a sliding scale of fines, it is difficult to see how the BBC can take the issue any further.
Ferguson's estimated personal worth has been put at around £22m so it would take a substantial level of punishment to change the perspective of the 68-year-old Scot who is understood to want an apology for the BBC Three programme broadcast in 2004, which made allegations about his son, Jason, taking advantage of his father's influence while working as a football agent.
Interviewed by Victoria Derbyshire for her Five Live programme, Mr Van Klaveren said he had ensured that approaches to the United manager were made through intermediaries. "I have made sure that efforts are taking place [to persuade Ferguson] through people who know him," he said. "Those have been going on in recent months in order to persuade him [and] it would be good to share his thoughts with our listeners.
"We know how many of our listeners really care about Manchester United. [But] he has made his decision and is standing by it. It's very hard to make somebody do something [even] when there are a certain level of sanctions. I recognise the position [the Premier League] are in."
The Premier League board will discuss the level of the first fine, with the amount set to rise every week that Ferguson continues to ignore the different "Match of the Day" shows and Radio 5 Live. The BBC has not commented on Ferguson's conduct but Gary Lineker, the "Match of the Day" host, has already expressed his belief that it would be "the amount of the fine" which will make Ferguson's mind up about whether to participate in interviews.
Ferguson has previously been immune to any punishment because of a rights regime which requested that managers talk to the broadcast rights-holders under a "best endeavours" clause. The idea of tightening up the rules was specifically devised to tackle Ferguson and was voted in by all 20 Premier League clubs, including Manchester United.
Latest in Sport
Nick Kyrgios calls former Olympian Dawn Fraser a 'blatant racist' after she tells Wimbledon star to 'go back where their parents came from'
Angel Di Maria to Bayern Munich: The reasons why Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben will not be joining Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo storms out of interview after being asked about possible sale of Manchester United target Sergio Ramos
Manchester United transfer news: No 9 shirt left vacant - a hint that new striker will be arriving?
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Kyrgios set for heavy fine for giving up game during loss to Richard Gasquet
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts