Sir Alex Ferguson and the BBC agree to end feud

By Kevin McHugh

Sir Alex Ferguson has called an end to his long-running dispute with the BBC.

The Manchester United manager has refused to speak to the corporation since 2004 when a Panorama investigation questioned the practices involved in football transfers.

In particular, allegations made against Sir Alex’s football agent son, Jason Ferguson, drew the manager’s ire. The fiercely loyal Scot accused the corporation of being ‘arrogant beyond belief’ and stated that the program amounted to a ‘horrible attack’ on his son’s honour.

The BBC’s post-match interviews since the incident have fallen on the shoulders of his assistant managers, currently Mike Phelan, and the Manchester United players.

The broadcaster had grounds to appeal to the Premier League governing body, though chose not to, despite the Sir Alex’s continued cooperation with rival broadcasters such as Sky.

An official joint statement by the Premier League champions and the BBC stated an end to the rift.

It read: “Sir Alex Ferguson and the BBC have decided to put behind them the difficulties which led to Sir Alex feeling unable to appear on BBC programmes.

“This follows a meeting between Sir Alex and the BBC’s director general, Mark Thompson, and BBC North director Peter Salmon, and the issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.”

The Man Utd boss will now be available for interviews with the broadcaster’s flagship football program, Match of the Day, Radio 5 Live as well as other BBC productions, and Sir Alex may issue his first post-match comments for the corporation in seven years after his team take on Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Sir Alex was waiting for an official apology from the BBC, one that never publicly materialised, and there has been no official reason as to why and under what circumstances an end to the feud has been facilitated.

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