Fergie: I'm not settling old scores

Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the decision to write a second autobiography was not made as an excuse to settle some old scores.

Sir Alex Ferguson; Wayne Rooney

The eagerly-awaited update to "Managing My Life", his first extensive view on the world, published in the wake of United's historic 1999 Treble-winning campaign, landed on Tuesday morning.

Ferguson then spoke for 45 minutes at a press conference in central London.

All the expected topics were raised. Indeed, chapters have been devoted to Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Liverpool, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney, all of whom Ferguson fell out with at some stage of his magnificent career.

It makes grim reading for some at times. And Ferguson was equally forthright under wider questioning afterwards.

But he insisted it was only a summing up of events of significance he felt United fans deserved to read about.

"You talk about the number of players I have had," he said.

"There are bound to be one or two issues and you have to deal with them.

"It is not a matter of settling scores. It is a matter of explaining why I had to make certain decisions.

"For all the Manchester United fans who wondered why we did certain things there had to be a reason.

"The most important reason was that I couldn't lose control over players if I wanted to remain at the club."

Control is a word that featured repeatedly.

It was cited as the reason why both Keane and Beckham had to go after Ferguson felt his authority had been challenged.

The same is also true of Wayne Rooney, although the England striker remains at Old Trafford purely as a result of Ferguson's decision to retire this summer.

"Leadership is a quality that can apply to all businesses," said Ferguson.

"Creating loyalty within your staff is so important, it is the philosophy of your thinking which you hope transmits itself to all around you in terms of whatever your workforce is like.

"Your control and discipline are important. We see it time and time again. Your personality transmits itself to everyone."

Ferguson maintained that control throughout his 27 years.

The only area he did not was over the racehorse, Rock of Gibraltar, which he ended up in a legal battle over the stud rights to with United's major shareholders John Magnier and JP McManus.

It was an embarrassing episode that threatened to destabilise the club and came at a time when Ferguson was struggling to recapture past glories.

Disappointingly for some, it is a chapter in Ferguson's career not covered extensively in his book.

Speaking in London on Tuesday afternoon, the Scot explained why.

"It was straightforward," said Ferguson.

"I had an agreement with John Magnier that once the settlement had been made nothing was to be said about it any more.

"They have not said anything about it and neither have I.

"That is exactly the position we have to be in and we won't be going back to that again."



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