Sir Alex – or more likely some Newcastle hoaxer – on Sunderland

Not yet remaindered, but going cheap*
Not yet remaindered, but going cheap*

If this reported extract from his book happened to be correct, Sir Alex Ferguson has taken a mild pop at Sunderland, its fans and their ‘ideas above their station’ aspirations. In the absence of the slightest sign that it is genuine, however, we should assume for now that it is a hoax, albeit a fairly clever one, perpetrated by a Mag mischief-maker …

Not sure about others, but I would sooner be a supporter of Sunderland AFC, which warts and all is a proper football club, than Manchester United, for whom I have respect and even some historic fondness but is really no more than a global brand a little like Coca-Cola or Wall-Mart.

Its “supporters” expect as of right to win each game, each competition; many of the billion or more who would describe themselves as such haven’t the faintest idea where Manchester is and will as passionately declare allegiance to Citeh or Chelsea or Arsenal a year or two from now if United’s present decline persists.

We get the odd high, lots of lows. They get highs and not-quite-so-highs.

So we should neither care nor be surprised too much to see these comments about SAFC attributed to Sir Alex Ferguson, a supremely successful manager whose many admirable qualities strongly mitigate his less appealing traits as an arrogant, cantakerous, ungracious and sometimes unsporting man.

I pass on those comments for your own amusement or stimulation, as you prefer. They were said by a Toon fan site to have come from his forthcoming autobiography, which has the riveting title – and this is absolutely genuine – of My Autobiography, and came to my attention at the Blackcats e-mail list.

But there has been growing suspicion that the quotes are a spoof and appear nowhere in the book. I have so far failed to locate them except on Sunderland and Newcastle fan sites; if anyone can point the right way, that would be appreciated, but the strongest likelihood is that we are dealing with a fake, albeit one that merits repetition …

I had good relationships with most other clubs but none more so than with Sunderland. At least until the last five years of my career.
We’d give them good deals on our fringe players or ageing players, and in return they’d take some of our youngsters on loan give them Premier League experience.
Unfortunately they got greedy in asking for Scholesy when he still had a couple of years left in him. I was never going to agree to that, but they didn’t take the hint and came back in every transfer window, mainly because their fans “wanted” him.
They’re an odd lot let me tell you; ideas above their station yet supporting a team who are nothing more than a hindrance even when at their best under Peter Reid.
In the end I pacified them by offloading Brown and O’Shea – both good servants but past their sell by date in my mind. Both injury prone and liable to make mistakes. Still, they were good enough to do a job in a poor team.’


* My Autobiography is available via the Salut! Sunderland Amazon link – http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0340919396/salusund-21 – at a knockdown £11.25, less than half the recommended retail price

Monsieur Salut, in his Paris days, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, in his Paris days, by Matt


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8 thoughts on “Sir Alex – or more likely some Newcastle hoaxer – on Sunderland”

  1. I have amended the piece to reflect the probability that we’ve fallen for a Mag hoax. Fair play to the true author: we were not alone in being fooled, even if a hint of doubt was injected quite soon after the article was posted. So it’s quite a smart fake.

    All we need now is for SAF to come forward and say he thinks precisely those things, whether or not he said them in the book

  2. yes, as I said before, how dare we crave mid-table obscurity? Several years ago, when Utd started to put their prices up beyond the reach of many after being “reasonable” for many years, some of their fans had the temerity to complain.

    His response? “go and watch FC United, then.” Hardly the comment you’d expect of someone deserving of a knighthood – which his attitude proves he isn’t

  3. Ideas above our station? Ibet in other parts of this book he professes to be a socialist, strange conflicting values there . If any United ” fans” want to comment , Manchester is a City which is situated in the North West of England . Chelsea or Arsenal should they win the title are in the South, look for London on the map.

  4. I am surprised that out of what can only be described as an outstandingly successful career (warts and all etc etc) that he has space in the book to pass comment on us.

    Strange one really Sir Alex, but as an SAFC fan, and with all due deference and respect, sod off whisky fizog!

  5. How much debt are Man U in? Old team, no money, good time to jump ship Alex. You didn’t win success you bought it.
    It’s not the spectacle it’s the soap!

    • Bought it? 20 times he bought it did he? Just like Chelsea or Man City… money doesnt buy you the title… look at these two… only got it a few times between the two.

      To be a massive club you have to spend money.. but its not just about that, its about setting a platform and doing this via a good youth system, which he put it in place.

      People have a go at fergie because he won things.. he’s a tremendous manager and should be a role model to future managers.. and im not even a man u fan.

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