Ferguson agrees to speak to BBC after 7 years

Ferguson agrees to speak to BBC after 7 years

Published Aug. 25, 2011 2:44 p.m. ET

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has agreed to be interviewed by the BBC, ending a seven-year boycott of the broadcaster over an investigation into his son.

The most successful manager in English soccer history, Ferguson has refused to speak to the broadcaster since a documentary questioned the activities of agent Jason Ferguson.

United said Thursday a meeting between Ferguson and BBC director general Mark Thompson had resolved the issue.

''Sir Alex Ferguson and the BBC have decided to put behind them the difficulties which led to Sir Alex feeling unable to appear on BBC programs,'' United said. ''The issues have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties.''


Ferguson will join the other 19 Premier League managers by making himself available for post-match interviews.

The famously fiery Ferguson had been holding out for an apology from the BBC.

Ignoring warnings from the Premier League, Ferguson would send his assistants to handle post-match duties with the BBC - even when fines were introduced last season for managers refusing to be interviewed.

In 25 years at United, Ferguson has regularly banned media organizations from the club over some perceived slight.

The Scot even threatened to ban Manchester United's own official TV channel in 2002 after criticism of Ferguson and his team featured in an interview with a former player.

But the profile and history of the BBC meant this particular standoff was always going to attract attention.

The BBC documentary, Father and Son, suggested that Jason Ferguson exploited his father's position to make money from player transfers.

''They did a story about my son that was whole lot of nonsense,'' Ferguson said in 2007. ''It was a horrible attack on my son's honor and he should never have been accused of that.''

Without an apology, Ferguson had imposed what was said to be a lifetime boycott.

''I think the BBC is the kind of company that never apologize and they never will apologize,'' Ferguson said. ''They are arrogant beyond belief.''