Written by Sport

Radio Silence

Warning – football rant coming…
How petulant exactly is Sir Alex Ferguson? He’s like a spoilt child in his refusal to talk to anybody in the media before or after his matches, ever since he got in trouble following comments he made to both Sky and his in-house channel MUTV. It’s the utter lack of grace, and coming on the heels of back to back defeats it smacks of being a bad loser. There’s nothing worse than an incredibly successful club like Man Utd, behaving like a five year old in the playground.
While the broadcasters with media rights to the game including Sky, the BBC and Talksport have so far not complained directly to the Premier League, it’s now well beyond a joke. He’s not spoken to the BBC since 2004, despite the Corporation pumping hundreds of millions of pounds into the game over that period.
Manchester United play their next Champions’ League game next week, and I’m certain that Fergie will make himself available as required by the tournament’s rules (Annex III).
According to a Guardian article, Manchester United are running up an ongoing fine that is now “approaching six figures.” In other words, there’s a £1,000 or so fine every time Fergie refuses to talk to the BBC as he has done since 2004.
Small fines are not enough. Either the Premier League needs to put in place a significant six or even seven figure fine for every instance that a manager fails to appear, or a points deduction needs to be put in place. Behaving like a petulant child is not becoming of a knight of the realm.
Post match interviews are not always the most enlightening of conversations, but they offer the fan a real chance of understanding how the team went about the game. They’re one of the few opportunities that a fan has of connecting with a football club (Although Twitter’s pretty good these days as well).
Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce have both also had diffferences in opinion with broadcasters over the years. But they’re big enough to have moved on, and seem to maintain pretty decent relations with the media. Everyone loves Ian Holloway’s post match interviews, and Arsene Wenger’s press conferences are always well attended because he’ll answer questions about anything including non-Arsenal related matters.
Now’s the time for the Premier League to take action with Man Utd. It gives the game a bad name.
I first wrote about this in 2004, and then again in 2006.