Manchester United LIED in desperate bid to get Sir Alex Ferguson in as manager from Aberdeen back in 1986

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Sir Alex Ferguson

MANCHESTER UNITED lied to bring in Sir Alex Ferguson, it has been revealed.

With Ron Atkinson all set for the boot after a disastrous 4-1 League Cup defeat to Southampton in 1986, United chairman targetted then-Aberdeen boss Ferguson.

 Manchester United LIED to get the chance to speak to then-Aberdeen manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 1986

AP:Associated Press

Manchester United LIED to get the chance to speak to then-Aberdeen manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 1986

And incredibly, Edwards admitted a club director pretended to be Gordon Strachan’s agent in a phone call to the Scottish club so he could get hold of Fergie.

Sir Alex had proved instrumental to United signing Strachan from Aberdeen in August 1984 when it seems it was a done deal to take him to German side Cologne.

Speaking on the Warm Down podcast, Edwards said: “Obviously I couldn’t just pick up the phone to the secretary at Aberdeen and say ‘this is Martin Edwards, can I speak to Alex Ferguson’.

“So one of my directors came up with the idea of getting on the phone, put on a Scottish accent and say they were Gordon Strachan’s agent or account or whatever.

 Former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards has revealed the cloak and dagger tactics used to snare Sir Alex Ferguson
Former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards has revealed the cloak and dagger tactics used to snare Sir Alex Ferguson

 After winning 13 Premier League titles, Manchester United's pursuit of Sir Alex Ferguson was well worth it

PA:Press Association

After winning 13 Premier League titles, Manchester United’s pursuit of Sir Alex Ferguson was well worth it

“As soon as I was able to speak to Alex I just said ‘is it worth us coming up for a talk’ and he gave us the right vibes.

“So we agreed to meet that night. It was pre-Ron being fired.”


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And the rest, as they say, is history as Ferguson led United through the glory years and became one of football’s greatest ever managers.

And Edwards has admitted that it was a shortlist of one when the decision was taken to axe Big Ron at Old Trafford.

He added: “There was no shortlist. I’d met Alex as part of the Strachan deal when we brought Gordon Strachan in during Ron’s time.

“We had a problem then as Strachan had already signed a contract with Cologne, but Aberdeen wanted to get more money from us.

“So Alex was keen for Strachan to come to us, as it meant more money for him and the Aberdeen kitty.

“He was helpful with us getting Strachan, so that’s when I personally got to know Fergie.

 Ron Atkinson was all set for the chop back in 1986 at Old Trafford, with the club already lining up a very special man to replace him

PA:Empics Sport

Ron Atkinson was all set for the chop back in 1986 at Old Trafford, with the club already lining up a very special man to replace him
 Martin Edwards knew it would take a fair bit of cunning to be able to get through to Aberdeen boss Alex Ferguson
Martin Edwards knew it would take a fair bit of cunning to be able to get through to Aberdeen boss Alex Ferguson

“So with the success he had with Aberdeen, to win three championships and four Scottish cups, but the real highlight was beating Real Madrid in the Cup Winners’ Cup.

“We knew he could do it on a European front too, it was a major factor.”

Sir Alex went on to win 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League titles before giving up his seat in the dugout to David Moyes.

He also won 11 official Premier League manager of the season awards in his 27-year career at the club.

Michael Carrick talks about Sir Alex Ferguson and his time at Man Utd

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