Sir Alex facing fine for boycott

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson could be fined by the Premier League after continuing his boycott of the BBC in contravention of a new rule.

Ferguson has refused to speak to Britain’s publicly funded broadcaster for six years after it aired an investigation into the business dealings of his son Jason, then working as a football agent. Jason Ferguson has never been guilty of any wrongdoing.

The league tightened its rules this season to insist managers speak to broadcast rights-holders, but Ferguson snubbed the BBC after Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Fulham.

"The Premier League is disappointed that the BBC and Manchester United have, as yet, been unable to resolve the issue of Sir Alex Ferguson providing post-match interviews," the league said Sunday in a statement. "We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation and offer any help deemed necessary by either party to try and help remedy the situation.

"However, this is a breach of Premier League rules and the board will consider the appropriate course of action at their next meeting scheduled for late September."

The BBC shows highlights of matches on its popular Match of the Day program, while BBC Radio Five Live airs live commentaries of some games.

"It’s a shame – we would like him to speak to us because we respect him and his teams, and always have done," BBC presenter Gary Lineker wrote Sunday in his column in the News of the World newspaper.

"It’s not us that suffer from not hearing from Sir Alex Ferguson. It makes no difference to the program because it’s action-led. But it does make a difference to the Manchester United fans. They are the ones missing out."

The 68-year-old Ferguson also refuses to speak to members of the written media after Premier League matches, but he does fulfill his obligations for the UEFA Champions League by attending post-match news conferences.