Manchester United news: Sir Alex Ferguson treated Class of '92 as his 'slave army', says former player

Retired Danish under-20 international Mads Timm said he ruled through fear

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has been accused of treating his famous Class of ’92 as his “slave army” according to a former Manchester United youth-team player.

The allegations come from Danish player Mads Timm who played for United between 2002 and 2006, but made only one first-team appearance for the Red Devils – a 10-minute cameo in the Champions League against Maccabi Haifa.

Timm described his former boss as a “control freak” who used fear to motivate his players and claimed he failed to make the grade at Old Trafford because he wasn’t suited to Ferguson’s dictatorial approach.

“He was a control freak, and he often motivated players with fear,” Timm wrote in his autobiography, which is being serialised in Danish newspaper BT.

“In his way, he was good for the time and fitted well to the players who were at United then.

“David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers' [Gary and Phil] personalities all fitted perfectly into Ferguson's slave army.”

The Dane, who retired from football in 2009 due to a lack of motivation following a string of injuries, took another swipe at Ferguson by questioning whether his style of management would still work in today’s game.

Timm played for United between 2002 and 2006 (Getty Images)

"I am not sure he could create the same success in the same way today," he said.

"Today you cannot get the footballers to subject themselves to talk about honour and willingness to die for the club.

"Today, most footballers know that team spirit is not greater than the contract."

Timm was handed a 12-month sentence in a young offenders’ institute in while at the club after being found guilty of causing a car accident while racing a teammate on a public road.