Sir Alex deserves a ‘disrepute’ charge

There’s been a lot of talk in the past week about footballers as role models. But the key issue for me stemming from the Rooney abuse incident is not the behaviour of the United striker himself, but that of his manager.

In defending Rooney and accusing the FA of “having it in for United”, Sir Alex Ferguson should be facing a charge of bringing not just the game into disrepute, but also Manchester United and his knighthood.

Any respect I had for the United manager evaporated in the wake of his pathetic attempt to defend the indefensible behaviour of his star striker’s expletive-laden tirade to the TV viewing public, following his hat-trick against West Ham.

Condemned by leading figures throughout the game and society as a whole as setting the worst possible example to youngsters and offending millions of viewers around the globe, Rooney should have received the notorious hairdryer treatment from his supposedly hard-man boss.

But Ferguson revealed a cowardly side to his nature and took the easy way out. In doing so, he totally ignored his responsibilities as manager of one of the world’s greatest sporting institutions.

Rather than risk causing a rift with his star striker, he attempted to divert attention away from the foul-mouthed rant by blaming anyone other than Rooney himself.  Since when has it been wrong for a player to swear in a game, asked Ferguson, choosing to totally ignore that Rooney actually sought out the camera to deliver his filth?

United’s most successful manager of all-time, then accused the FA of being biased against his club for swiftly, and to wide acclaim, banning Rooney for two matches.

If Rooney has been punished for setting a bad example to kids, what then of Sir Alex? It would be fascinating to hear the thoughts of Sir Bobby Charlton and other directors of Ferguson’s image-conscious club.  Their silence on the matter suggests they too are uncomfortable with the behaviour of Rooney and their manager.

Privately, of course, Sir Alex would no doubt justify his defence of his leading goal-scorer by believing that standing up for his players, however unacceptable their behaviour, is good man management because it unites the dressing room and ultimately produces results on the pitch.

But in adopting such a stance, the United manager did untold damage to the reputation of his club around the world, to the game as a whole and to his own good name.  Meanwhile Rooney has been encouraged to believe that he’s done nothing wrong, when a club fine and condemnation from his boss would be far more likely to make the England striker change his ways.

If results on the pitch are all that matter to Sir Alex, then next time Rooney’s in trouble with the authorities, remember Sir Alex’s lax treatment of him over this incident, and don’t be surprised.

By Marcus Beaden – Hereford United fan



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4 Responses to Sir Alex deserves a ‘disrepute’ charge

  1. Tinyted says:

    Good piece. The whole thing is a joke.

    Fergie should be embarrassed.

  2. I agree that Rooney was wrong to do what he did and that punishment was needed to set example however I think the reason it becomes frustrating is when you see players swearing at the ref without punishment and there are players at the other Manchester club throwing darts at youth team players for fun without punishment. Imagine the reaction if that was Rooney. Or if Rooney had shot a work experience kid with an air rifle. I’m saying that with my United hat on of course. But as a neatral I think Rooney deserved ban, but also should have been banned for same thing when swearing into camera when playing for England. That he wasn’t shows a bit of self serving hypocrisy from the FA. Good piece mate.

  3. Tyson says:

    Rooney is a disgrace.

    I do tend to agree with the comment above though. Swearing happens regularly in the game and Rooney shouldn’t be the only one to suffer. Let’s be honest, footballers aren’t role models, really?

  4. BenitezsFACThunt says:

    I’m afraid I don’t agree with what you have to say, other than Rooney deserved some sort of ban.

    1. Rooney did not ‘seek out the camera to deliver his filth’, and choosing to believe so is blinkered. The Sky team rightly saw the opportunity to get close to the celebration and took it. Rooney did not look around to swear at the camera: The camera was there and caught him mid-celebration.

    – That said, his celebration WAS wrong and misdirected, but trying to emphasise your point with an exaggeration like ‘seeking out the camera’ is poor.

    2. You argue that Ferguson is wrong for backing up his player by saying that ‘everybody swears’, and that Rooney ‘has been encouraged to believe that he’s done nothing wrong’. How does this damage his reputation? Fergie appears, at least, to have forced an apology from Wayne, and backing up his players against hypocrisy from the FA isn’t a bad stance to take, surely?

    – I don’t think anyone can condone Rooney’s actions – and Fergie didn’t do so. Rooney deserved a ban.

    What concerns me, and where your report falls short, is what the natural conclusion of the FA’s stance towards this incident in particular. Fergie ‘accused the FA of being biased against his club’: Remember that he was banned for two matches for “foul or abusive language” – nothing to do with the camera… and yet clearly they don’t ban everyone that swears (10 players were caught on camera swearing this weekend). If they want to change the rule to say that ‘he was banned for swearing into a camera’, then fine… but surely you’d have to let the people playing the sport know first?

    I leave you with a question: Given the “Respect” campaign has been banded around so much, which is worse: swearing at a camera, or swearing at a referee? Personally, I’d argue the latter, and that it is the FA themselves who are bringing the game into disrepute, for not applying the law equally.

    -FACT hunter

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