Ferguson reneged on agreement to become Tottenham manager

Date published: Wednesday 11th October 2017 11:40

Sir Alex Ferguson once reneged on an agreement to become manager of Tottenham.

Ferguson was appointed Manchester United manager in 1986 and oversaw a period of remarkable success, winning 38 trophies in 27 years.

But the legendary Scot almost had an altogether different impact on the English game at another club.

According to former Tottenham chairman Irving Scholar, Ferguson had agreed to leave Aberdeen to manage the north London outfit.

A book by Sun journalist Martin Lipton – ‘White Hart Lane — The Spurs Glory Years’ – details the story.

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

“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 in 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.

“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.”

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