United braced for Ferguson’s revelations to increase angst

Former manager’s book will reopen old wounds about exit of Beckham and Van Nistelrooy

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned ahead of the publication of his autobiography on Wednesday that he cannot duck the controversies surrounding his decision to get Ruud van Nistelrooy and David Beckham out of Manchester United because of their significance in the club’s history.

Ferguson explained in some detail during his interview with Charlie Rose on America’s Public Broadcasting Service three weeks ago how he felt that Victoria Beckham was fundamental to her husband’s fall out with him. But Ferguson’s own precise account of the 2003 “flying boot” episode remains one of the most keenly anticipated sections of the autobiography which will dominate this week’s football news. Another is the deterioration of his relationship with Van Nistelrooy, who was also sold to Real Madrid after Ferguson became disenchanted with his star striker’s attitude. Van Nistelrooy clashed with Cristiano Ronaldo in training and with the manager over tactics and team selection.

“You know the problem with doing a book is you have to bring in the elements and factors which in many ways either affected or determined your management decision-making. Because I’ve been at the club such a long time and you are building team after team after team, there are areas that you can’t ignore: [like] why we sold certain players like David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy,” Ferguson said. “You can’t ignore these things because these guys were big, big figures in Manchester United’s career history.”

It does not seem that Ferguson has ceded any ground to those stars, in his new book. “During all [this] time, we’ve only had one manager and that one manager is given the duties of managing the club the right way. I felt I managed it the right way, dealing with the situations,” he added.

Ferguson’s interview with United’s in-house TV station, the latest of many pre-publication interviews, revealed that he will explain in the book that Jaap Stam’s sale to Lazio in 2001 – which the ex-manager has always admitted was a mistake – was a result of an irresistible offer from the Italians, rather that the Dutchman alleging in his autobiography that Ferguson had approached him about joining United without the permission of his previous club PSV Eindhoven. “Someone came and offered me the money and I thought about the money for the club. I shouldn’t have.”

Ferguson has also said that United’s misfortune of losing both him and ex-chief executive David Gill at the same time was a result of the two resolving to go before telling each other. He describes Gill telephoning on a Sunday in late February, to ask “Are you busy?” in an attempt to visit the manager at his home. “He came over to talk to me about him retiring himself. I say ‘Christ I’ve made up my mind to retire myself at the end of the season.’ That gave me a terrible quandary because you start thinking about leaving the club in the lurch. I said ‘I’ll need to speak to Mr [Joel] Glazer.” But Glazer squared for both men to leave at the same time.

Ferguson’s successor David Moyes has denied being too cautious in substituting Wayne Rooney for Chris Smalling, leaving him short of firepower when Southampton equalised after 86 minutes at Old Trafford on Saturday. “I didn’t think that at all,” Moyes said. “We didn’t take the two forwards off. We kept them on. We brought Danny Welbeck on [for Nani] and Ryan Giggs on [for Marouane Fellaini]” Moyes said.

Rio Ferdinand was missing for the 1-1 draw because of an unspecified slight injury and Nemanja Vidic will probably have recovered from a calf injury to face Real Sociedad in midweek – though since he did not train throughout last week, his place in the starting line-up is in some doubt.

News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn