Football management guru Sir Alex Ferguson's recent decision to
sideline the press is a foolish one that smacks of petulance, despite
claims by his PR advisers that they support him on the issue. It is hard
to imagine Ferguson making this call at the end of last season when his
team was a dozen points clear in the league table.
Given his team's displays recently, it is tempting to suggest he should
spend the time saved by cancelling his PR duties intensively coaching
blundering keeper Fabien Barthez (whose reputation suffered another blow
this week as Tesco PROs reportedly revealed plans to dub him 'butter
fingers' in a bid to boost butter sales).
But as a well-paid senior official of a quoted company - he was pitching
for a seat on the full MUFC board this time last year - Ferguson has
responsibilities to his publics that stretch beyond interviews with the
Although the channel is run by seasoned ex-hacks, being grilled by
people whose livelihoods depend on your goodwill is not the same as
throwing yourself open to independent reporters as other football
managers do every week.