Simon Jordan accuses Piers Morgan of hypocrisy as pair argue over Ronaldo ‘whine-a-thon’

Will Ford
Jordan speaks on Newcastle

Simon Jordan told Piers Morgan he was a hypocrite, claiming his interview with Cristiano Ronaldo was just as “comfortable” as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, which Morgan took great issue with.

Morgan defended his headline-making chat with Ronaldo, which aired this week, in which the Manchester United star heavily criticised his club, manager Erik ten Hag and the Glazer family.

United have ‘initiated appropriate steps’ in response to Ronaldo’s comments and it’s expected his Old Trafford contract will be ripped up.

Jordan previously described the Ronaldo interview as a “whine-a-thon” and Morgan joined talkSPORT’s White and Jordan on Friday to answer the criticism.

Jordan: This is sport’s version of Oprah with Harry and Meghan. It’s an interview done between two people who know each other really well, it’s a comfortable interview and nothing is really challenged.

There are only a few people in the world who can get this interview and that’s the biggest part of it. Piers can take his audience from 7,000-a-day before to 300,000-a-day.

I understand the benefit of Piers’ impact in that. But I listened to an interview where very little was challenged. It was accepted at face value, nothing was pushed back on, and it was evaluated from the perspective of an admiring set of eyes sat on the opposite side of the desk.

Morgan: I’m always happy to take interviewing technique advice from Simon. I’m always happy to take lectures from people who never interview people.

I did challenge him. I got him to admit he shouldn’t have done what he did at Tottenham. I got him to make other admissions, too.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by challenging? He was setting the record straight about stuff he felt was misleading and untrue in the media.

Jordan: I can give you examples. I wasn’t giving you a lecture, I was giving an opinion. An example would be, if the argument was about executives who didn’t want him before and don’t want him now, who are these executives?

By admission, he’s never spoken to the Glazers, is it Ed Woodward? Was it Richard Arnold – who has allegedly made phone calls to Ronaldo saying whatever time he wants, he can have?

He talked about the Glazers’ motivation, how does he know their motivation if he’s never spoken to them?

Morgan: If there are senior executives who wish to deny, on the record, what Ronaldo has said, let them come forward.

Jordan: I don’t care what you say about it, Piers, I wanted to know what he would say. He didn’t name anybody. In the same way you asked Meghan Markle to name the racists in the Royal Family, why didn’t you ask Ronaldo?

Morgan: I think if you go back and watch the interview you will see that he names titles.

Jordan: But he said ‘president’, Piers! There is no role for a president at the football club.

Morgan: He’s talking about the people who run Manchester United. I would think it’s him [Richard Arnold].

Jordan: But he described it separately, he described directors and the president. Let’s deal in detail. Let’s look at the pushback on someone spending 350million euros for him…

Morgan: You’re talking total nonsense about the Saudi deal. I know exactly who made that deal and you’re wrong.

Jordan: So you’ve seen the contract, have you?

Morgan: I’ve spoken to the Saudi person who made the offer myself.

Jordan: So you haven’t seen the contract?

Morgan: Why would they lie?

Jordan: Oh, I don’t know, why would people misrepresent things, you do that all the time!

After a brief interjection from Jim White, the pair continued…

Jordan: You had a wonderful opportunity. I agree with a lot of the things you say. I don’t make puerile comments like you do, about me being a ‘failed football club owner’ on Twitter.

But the point is, the Ten Hag scenario. You had an opportunity. I look at it and go, ‘Why in God’s name would a manager publicly announce Ronaldo is part of is plans… why would he want to take this player down?’ You never asked that question.

READ MORE: Cristiano Ronaldo interview blog: Relive one of the most boring hours in TV history

Morgan: I think you’re talking complete nonsense. This interview, over 90 minutes, has made more headlines around the world than any interview in sport I can remember.

The reason it has made so many headlines is because it was revelatory. The reason it was revelatory is because Ronaldo was the one correcting the record. Ronaldo was doing what I suspect the Royal Family would’ve loved to have done after the Meghan and Harry ‘whine-a-thon’ – but they weren’t allowed. Ronaldo is not in that position.

Jordan: But you slaughtered Oprah for adopting the same interview technique that you did!

Morgan: You’ve got the chicken and the egg the wrong way round. Ronaldo is responding to what has been said in newspapers and on broadcasts. He is reacting, not precipitating. He is the one correcting all the smears and lies about him, of which there have been many.

My job was to facilitate him doing that. If anyone at Man United wants to come on the record and deny specific allegations, let them do it.

Jordan: That would be great for you. But my criticism of you is you sat there with goldfish eyeballs, looking across the table at someone you deeply admire, and you had no constructive objectivity.

Morgan: You are now sounding very puerile and childish. There is no comparison between my interview and the Oprah one. They were lighting the fire!