Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has responded to his latest FA misconduct charge by refusing to speak to anybody. Ferguson was recently given a 5 match touchline ban in response to critical remarks about a referee made in an interview broadcast on MUTV. This led to Sir Alex, who already has a long standing dispute with the BBC over a programme on football agents that was mean and nasty about his son, refusing to speak to the newly crowned Premier league champion’s own TV channel.
The new charges relate to positive comments made about a referee and have resulted in the United boss deciding to now not speak to anybody at all. While his previous refusal to speak to the media may have upset TV bosses and landed him in trouble with the FA it didn’t affect the team, however his now complete silence is causing problems for the players.
‘He comes in to training every day and just stands on the sidelines with his hands in his pockets, chewing gum, looking miserable and ignoring everybody.’ says United striker Michael Owen, ‘It’s really starting to get to the lads. Mike Phelan (Ferguson’s assistant manager) does his best to keep things flowing but we look to the gaffer and the most we get out of him at the moment is a kind of sullen shrug. We’ve got the Champion’s League final coming up in a couple of weeks and we need more from him than a vague gesture towards a board with a load of arrows drawn on it.’
At a packed press conference today Ferguson sat behind a microphone, slumped in his chair, refused to even make eye contact with any of the journalists in the room and constantly checked his watch for 25 minutes until they got bored and drifted out with their questions unanswered.
A series of tweets from Wayne Rooney, translated into English, reveal that when repeatedly questioned by senior players about the likely starting 11 for the next match Sir Alex broke his silence for just long enough to abruptly end a 6-a-side training game by announcing that he was ‘going home and taking my ball with me’. Since then he has been locked in his office and even refused to come down for dinner.