CHARLES SALE: Ferguson must talk, even to the BBC next season

27 February 2010 12:01
Manchester United's all-powerful Sir Alex Ferguson will have to respect his media obligations next season after a change in the rulebook, according to the Premier League.

For years, the Premier League and FA have done nothing about Fergie refusing to speak to journalists after matches and banning them from his Old Trafford press conferences.

He has not co-operated with the BBC since their May 2004 documentary on the transfer dealings of his former agent son Jason.

New rules: Sir Alex Ferguson must do BBC interviews next season in the league

Football League executives will not discover until after Sunday's Carling Cup final whether Ferguson will grace the managers' press conference although the competition code does not make this compulsory.

Fergie turned up after United's League Cup final victories over Wigan in 2006 and Tottenham last season, although he gave it a miss following the 2-0 defeat by Liverpool in 2003.

But the Scot will face Premier League action if he refuses to speak to the media including his sworn enemy the BBC after matches when new regulations come into force in 2010-11.

And a bust-up looks inevitable as the forecast from Old Trafford is that Fergie will carry on as he likes with his TV, radio and press dealings. Then it remains to be seen whether the Premier League are brave enough to discipline him.

Meanwhile, there could be an intriguing confrontation in the Wembley VIP area tomorrow if financier Keith Harris a Football League guest who is campaigning for anti-Glazer fans to boycott United matches collides with any of the owners, who are expected at the final.

 MCC chief executive Keith Bradshaw met a cross-section of the membership at a curry evening this week, highly appropriate cuisine with Lord's looking at joining a consortium to buy an Indian Premier League franchise. It is claimed that most members were supportive.

However, the big fight the MCC face is with their ECB neighbours, who are against the proposed Rajasthan Royals Twenty20 tournament at Lord's this summer.

And the ECB hold a trump card because they will decide if the MCC secure the long-term Test-staging deal they desperately need for their ground.

 There is considerable upset at West Ham that the FA have used a loophole to reject Dean Ashton's personal claim over the career-ending ankle injury he suffered while training with England.

The retired striker won't receive compensation because the incident happened more than three years ago.

Loophole: The FA are refusing to pay retired Dean Ashton any compensation

The Hammers are pursuing their own £7m insurance claim against the FA, which doesn't have the same time restrictions.

But the FA stance is that Ashton came back from the injury to play a full season for West Ham.

 The tourist industry in Slovenia, selling the country as a hiking, mountain biking and lakes destination, is making the most of being drawn in the same World Cup group as England.

UK holidaymakers booking trips to the republic will get a quarter of the cost refunded if Slovenia reach the last eight, half back for a semi-final place and a free holiday in the highly unlikely event of Slovenia winning this summer's tournament.

 Clubs take TV plunge The Premier League are setting up their own TV operation to service the burgeoning overseas market. It will provide a full match production package including a commentator, presenter and punditry team to foreign rights holders who take up the option.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore

The formation of Premier League TV, agreed at the last chairmen's meeting after years of debate, also gives the PL a major bargaining tool.

It means they can go it alone in the next domestic rights negotiations if the TV networks fail to match the extraordinary £3billion-plus value at home and abroad of the three-year agreements starting next season.

On a much smaller scale, the FA are adopting the same strategy with their website screening of FA Cup matches.

Elsewhere, ESPN aren't exactly lavishing funds on their Europa League coverage, with the commentary on Liverpool's victory in Romania being done from their London studio.

  More from Charles Sale. CHARLES SALE: Chelsea go undercover in search for new ground25/02/10 CHARLES SALE: TV rivals close to World Cup deal 24/02/10 Charles Sale: Sir John Walker is called to unravel the Notts County set23/02/10 CHARLES SALE: Alan Curbishley case strikes new Hammer blow to West Ham23/02/10 Charles Sale Sports Agenda: Keep off the pitch, all except Capello22/02/10 CHARLES SALE: Morrisons inject £1m into England's 2018 World Cup bid19/02/10 Charles Sale: Globetrotter David Dein is on board with the England 2018 World Cup bid at last18/02/10 Charles Sale: John Terry too exposed for ITV cover shot17/02/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE 

 Explore more:People:Keith Harris, Dean Ashton, Alex Ferguson, Keith BradshawPlaces:Liverpool, United Kingdom, Romania, SloveniaOrganisations:Football League

Source: Daily_Mail