Sir Alex Ferguson Reneged On Tottenham Deal

Ferguson Had Cold Feet About Moving To Spurs

Sir Alex Ferguson tottenham
Image: Auston Osuide

Sir Alex Ferguson went back on an agreement to manage Tottenham Hotspur two years before he took over at Manchester United.

Former Spurs chairman Irving Scholar has revealed that Sir Alex snubbed Spurs by deciding not to turn up to a meeting called by Scholar and which was due to include another board member, Paul Bobroff.

Tottenham had just sacked Keith Burkinshaw after eight seasons in charge and Scholar admitted he had already had talks with Ferguson who had led Aberdeen to a Scottish league and cup double.

“The truth was that I had been talking to and negotiating with Alex Ferguson about a deal,” Scholar told The Sun. “He and I had had very long and detailed discussions.

“I told him that I was a very old-fashioned type of chap and that the most important thing was that once you agree something, once you shake someone’s hand, it’s concrete.

“Once you do that, then you do not – under any circumstances whatsoever – you do not go back on it. It’s over. I told him that, when I first met him. So we had this big thing about the handshake.”

Scholar added:

“We went on and on and on, discussions, negotiations, down to the minutiae of the contract. Everything was agreed. So I said ‘Can we meet?’, he agreed and I said I’d like him to meet someone else on the board, Paul Bobroff. We arranged to meet in Paris on a Sunday morning, just by the airport.

“The idea was this was the moment, the seminal moment of the handshake. We’d built up to this for weeks. So we met. I said, ‘Are you ready?’. He replied, ‘I’m ready’.

“I said, ‘Are you sure you’re ready?’. He said, ‘I’m sure’. So we had this seminal moment of the handshake. As you know, unfortunately, he didn’t keep to it.

“He never told me why. I had my own theories but it doesn’t matter anymore. It was a disappointment. He stayed at Aberdeen for another two years.”

In the end, Sir Alex moved to Manchester United in November 1986 and enjoyed almost 27 years as United boss before retiring at the end of the 2012-13 season.