I hate Sir Alex Ferguson

Ferguson RefereeI suppose the death of Margaret Thatcher was much like the passing of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Like Thatcher, Fergie had his fans: 800 million of them, or so we’re told. And like the Baroness, he also managed to piss a lot of people off – people like me.

Over the past few days, we’ve read endless tributes to the old grump.  “Best manager ever,” I’m told. Well maybe he is. But I’m not here to eulogise old Sir Alex. So we’ll launch straight in.

Referees. When referee Jeff Winter handed Roy Keane a red card, he wasn’t assigned a United game for the following two years, following a judgement from his Lord Justice Fergie. Winter later noted that the Football Association – run, partly, by board member and United Chief Executive under Fergie, David Gill – “is reticent to give Manchester United games to referees that Ferguson has criticised in the past”. Oh, and let’s look at Alan Wiley. Fergie lambasted Wiley for apparently being “fat and unfit” after his team could only draw with Sunderland. Wiley “agreed” to retire at the end of the season. Coincidence?

And then Mark Clattenburg oversaw the 6-1 hammering at Old Trafford that United received from Manchester City at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. Fergie criticised Clattenburg (and his players, which is unusual). Clattenburg didn’t oversee a United game for the rest of the season.

Basically, Sir Alex always gets his way. And that’s annoying, because fair play is quite an important thing in sport. This frustration is heightened because, like any great dictator, he then claims to be the supreme moral arbiter. He throws tantrums over inconsequential refereeing decisions with the frequency of a whining toddler. It’s always their fault. And then he’s praised for defending his team. We also end up with entrenched institutions such as “Fergie Time”, the doctrine being: don’t blow the whistle till United score, whatever the clock says.

Ferguson is puerile. He defied his non-negotiable obligation to be interviewed by the BBC for years because they broadcast claims that associated dodgy dealings with his son. It was pathetic. But also outrageous – would any other manager have got away with it?

Fergie’s also a humourless hypocrite. He criticised Real Madrid for tapping up Cristiano Ronaldo, forgetting his similar tactics with regards to Wayne Rooney. And his gum-chewing, hairdryer-spurting, watch-checking touchline antics are infuriating to behold. His persistent pestering of the fourth official is as aggressive as it is maddening.

Yet, fundamentally, my unashamed sour grapes with Fergie stem from his success: he’s a winner. Plenty of managers stroll provocatively down the touchline, but none can do so with such irritating and assured arrogance as Sir Alex can.

He’s won absolutely everything and engineered the most prosperous sports brand in the world. I live in South West London, very near three Premier League teams and plenty further down the divisions. And yet there exists a sizeable group of Manchester United fans. Yes, no one takes United fans seriously – how can you? But their mere presence is a mark of the team’s worldwide success, a constant reminder of Fergie’s unfailing superiority.

I hate Sir Alex Ferguson; this isn’t mere dislike, but a bitter resentment that has been built over many painful years. I hate him even more for having to write ‘Sir’. Soon, even more annoyingly, to be ‘Lord’ – the thought of Fergie passing the laws that govern me is beyond humour.

He’s frustrating because of his antics, because of the refereeing injustices, because of the last-minute winners and because of the “fans” that follow him with idolatrous fervour. Would I care if he had been unsuccessful? No. And that’s the most annoying part. The mere act of me writing this is a concession to his triumphs.

At least he’s finally gone. Good riddance.

The Author

Ewan Day Collins

35 thoughts on “I hate Sir Alex Ferguson

  1. Seriously you need to grow up!
    What manager is perfect and least of all name one premier league manager who doesn’t do the above. when you’re around 26 years that a lot of time to make enemies.

    When you get to 70+ years of age I wonder how many people will you annoy?

  2. Biggest load of crap i’ve read this week..
    U hate Saf…then go tel ur mom..!!

    U’ll still be an aspiring shitty journo wen ur 70!

  3. You are pathethic, change your title to ‘a 17 year old immature bellend who has no respect’ quite suprised your a soft southener in all fairness, you have all the traits to be a scouser with this hatred.

    Hope I never come across any of your blogs again, and hope you fail miserably (which you no doubt will)

    Viva Utd

  4. Any more conspiracy theories? Did man not really walk on the moon? Did the Americans really instigate 9/11? That Alan Wiley theory was particularly ridiculous.

    You need to grow up.

  5. I think you put a 1 in front of the 7 re your age by mistake, junior.

    Now don’t be silly and go and play with your Power Ranger toys and leave the grown up stuff to the grown ups.


    1. Either you haven’t read the article or you’re a little confused. I’m not sure where I dispute the huge number of trophies you talk of – putting them in capitals doesn’t achieve anything other than making you seem infantile, btw. I’m just annoyed you (I presume you’re a united fan) have won so many because that has restricted my team from doing so – I am unashamedly biased here. The guy who commented that I’m jealous is absolutely right. I would have loved to have Sir Alex manage my team!

  6. This article is the reason why you’ll ever only be an “aspiring journalist” TRYING to write about sports. Love him (as I do) or hate him, he deserves total respect and the game will be an emptied place without him.

  7. Very well written article. Had me biting for the first few paragraphs and then I came to understand that you are a well educated 17yr old with a honesst view unshared by most blinded by their own inadequacies.

  8. Wow! Bitter through and through. It’s good that you’re being honest about how you feel, but I don’t think you’re as well informed as you wish. Sir Alex has been the key to why the premier league is so big in this country for a start, he has built not only many teams over the years but he has also been the only honest manager who says what he thinks, just as we the supporters think when decisions don’t go our way. If other managers were like him we wouldn’t have won so much at United. You need to find out more about the impact he has made in communities all over the country just by his mere presence. I won’t call you a fool for your judgement, but you are very very misinformed about the great man. The very field you wish to pursue as a career bares more deceit than anything you could label against our legend Sir Alex Ferguson. Glory glory man United. United supporter since 1986.

  9. Name any other long serving top four manager who hasn’t accused a referee of bias or not up to the job. You’ll find many others have traits worse than sir Alex but as the head man for the biggest club in the world he’s scrutinized more than most, for doing exactly what the rest if them do. Get your facts right kid and you’ll go far. Stick to hating, you’re doomed before you start. Good luck.

  10. As a Man Utd fan this article was like swallowing cement for the abrasive attack upon my team’s legendary coach; though, I do praise your writing style (for 17 it’s quite good) and a certain honesty in being biased and jealous.
    Well done.

  11. I’m quite ashamed at the comments from United fans on here.
    The lad has a right to air his views & I’m glad he did just that. If you really understand the article, you’l detect bias laced with envy.
    Sir Alex wasn’t a perfect man, but he was a perfect manager. End of
    P.S: I’m a Manchester United fan and I hope you fulfil your dreams someday.

  12. A clown article written by a fool.
    The article ‘ heading’ says it all.
    Not really worth taking the bait to enhance the saboteur’s views.

  13. You seem to forget that the head of the FA david berstein is a man city fan and you claim man united run the FA? typical jealous bastard.

  14. Aspiring sports jurnolists is all your ever going to be! Without Sir Alex Ferguson you bellends would have nothing else to write about! However I will say this you do have all the attributes to become one! Nothing to be proud of as no one likes a cunt! Your article is all your personal opinion and quite frankly the 3 minutes I spent reading it I will never get back! Fill it with facts son and it might be something of interests. And as a 17 year old you only really know SAF of the past 3 or so years. You forget to mention in your article the huge success in Scottish football with Aberdeen. Something that has never been repeated! Overall well written article but just full of shite!

  15. oh dear look at the sad scum fans running in to protect their leader… and you think the author of the article needs to get a life? You glory-hunting vacuous nob-rubbers are nothing but rodents, shouting as loud as you can in unison, leeching off the ‘success’ of a team you have nothing to do with other than you buy their shirts like the other millions of sheep unable to form their own identity. Total fucking wankers.

  16. OMG grow the fuck up kiddo, nobody wants to read about how your club, whatever it is, gets hammered by Utd most of the time, because almost every team in football would lose to a world class team like Utd.
    God, you’re 17, you’re an adult now, you can’t just write this kinda shit, that’s ok if you are 13 or 14 and starting to write things, cause then it’d be normal to write this moronic piece of shit, but, you are fuckin’ 17. Hell.

  17. All these United fans here are too thick to even understand the article. The guy has written an honest article about why he can’t stand Sir Alex – he is a winner (even though his antics were irritating and he certainly dictated officiating sometimes). I think United fans are criticizing this guy for the exact same things they defend Sir Alex for – honesty and saying what he thinks no matter who it pisses off (see UnitedSoldiers’s post). Remember the Newcastle game this year? The only manager in the world who would have gotten away without punishment for the way he harassed the fourth official. Anyway, thank you Sir Alex because I think its pretty clear that you are the greatest manager to ever grace the game.

  18. I totally agree. I contribute quite regularly here and would love to have written a similar story but didn’t have the guts such was the endless cow toying to Alex Ferguson (I refuse to type the ‘Sir’ part).

  19. Sir,
    I do not understand the reason for your dislike.
    Sir Alex has no official power to control the referees Each referee makes an independent decision regarding the extra time,yellow card,red card,and penalty that is to be given.
    Yes Sir Alex criticizes the referees for their mistakes or when the decisions do not go his way, but that is something every manager does.
    You research certainly shows that referees who haven’t been good have been taken off games involving united, but if you do research i am pretty sure you will find similar cases against other managers.
    The bottom line being, the referee chooses to be influenced by Sir Alex.
    He might have criticized real for trying tap up ronaldo, but you very conveniently seem to forget that he had the option of not letting ronaldo go, yet he choose to let him leave to fulfill his dream.
    you conveniently forget that it is a policy of united that they hardly ever speak up about their potential transfers. They behave with utmost integrity in the transfer market.
    You don’t incidents with drunken players or agents demanding more money (Rooney being a rare exception)

  20. I totally agree. I contribute quite regularly here and would love to have written a similar story but didn’t have the guts such was the endless kowtoying to Alex Ferguson (I refuse to type the ‘Sir’ part).

  21. You have taken a sample of 3 incidents and drawn inferences. Basically, you are what we call in statistics, an idiot.

  22. Excellent piece young man. Keep telling it how it is for as long as you can. I fear the branwashed hordes must be foaming at the mouth at this one!

  23. It’s a good thing you didn’t include your Twitter and Facebook links below the article because you would surely be harassed by the die-hearted United fans. Anyways i applaud you on expressing your feelings!

  24. Great article Ewan. Don’t give up.

    You’ve clearly hit a plethora of nerves so sign of a good article I’d say.

    I love the responses. Particularly the ones from people who can’t write telling you that you’ll never be a journalist. They’ve really made me laugh. My favourite line being: “Stick to hating, you’re doomed before you start.” How generous of this chap to offer his advice. It’s a shame he’s clearly never read any sports journalism since most articles written on football are laced with hate or bias in some form or another.

    I think this article proves that you’ll do just fine.

  25. Well written, factually correct and interesting article.

    Even if I was a Man U fan (who aren’t real fans) would have to admit this is pretty much true, so I don’t know why people on here are bothering to say otherwise.

    Keep on writing!!!

  26. Nice article and very surprised it comes from a 17-year old. BTW, I also hate that old prick too…

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