MANCHESTER UNITED WEIHNACHTS PARTY - EINE SCHANDE

Startbeitrag von Graham aus Liverpool am 24.12.2007 01:25

MANCHESTER UNITED WEIHNACHTS PARTY - EINE SCHANDE

Sir Alex Ferguson deserves to have a magnificent Christmas. Instead, he has been left with a thunderous headache — and not the type you normally associate with celebrating the festive season.

Quite rightly, Sir Alex will deal internally with the fall-out from last week's Manchester United Christmas party. But I can tell you, he will be very upset about it and very disappointed. It was the last thing he needed at this time of year when everything at the club was going along so nicely and on an even keel.

I know what he must feel like because we had similar lurid headlines at Newcastle in 2003 when one of my players was questioned over an alleged rape at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, although no charges came of it.

For a football club, the publicity is absolutely awful. And it is distracting from the thing you are trying to do — win football matches in a style which puts a smile on the faces of supporters.

Regardless of whether a rape charge is made as a result of what happened last week, there have been enough stories to come from the party to drag the great name of Manchester United into places it does not want to go.

Just two months before we are all going to remember the Busby Babes who died in the Munich disaster, it is a sobering thought that the current United stars paid £4,000 each for one night of 'fun', an amount of money that Duncan Edwards, Tommy Taylor and Roger Byrne would have earned in four years.

The United players have nobody to blame but themselves for how they have been perceived this week. To the outside world, they will be regarded as egotistical stars with no self-control.



To ban your wives and girlfriends from a party and then invite a hundred other women is asking for trouble.

Fans are entitled to ask why you don't hear about top golfers or tennis players indulging to excess the way our footballers seem to.

On a personal level, I felt very angry with the United players for putting their manager through this. Alex turns 66 on New Year's Eve and is still working hard, devoting his time and wisdom to keeping United at the top; not easy when you've got rivals as good as Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

Then his players go out and behave absolutely irresponsibly. I'm sure, like all managers, Alex warns his players of the pitfalls and gives counsel when he can to try to keep them on the straight and narrow. But part of being a footballer is how you behave away from the training ground,too.And you can't have someone holding your hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

I used to worry like hell whenever the players had a Christmas party, and with good reason. I used to ask my captain, Alan Shearer, to keep an eye out to make sure nobody ran riot.

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