And you thought it was mad yesterday… United legend Crerand launches astonishing on-air rant at BBC 5 live presenters in row over clashes at Manchester derby
15:18 GMT, 10 December 2012
Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy Crerand was involved in an astonishing outburst on national radio this morning as he reacted angrily to the suggestion that Rio Ferdinand could in any way have provoked Manchester City fans with his celebration of United’s winner in Sunday’s derby.
Ferdinand appeared to be hit by a coin following Robin van Persie’s late goal at the Etihad Stadium and City goalkeeper Joe Hart also had to prevent a supporter from confronting the United defender.
It was put to Crerand during an interview on BBC Radio 5 live that listeners had called and texted the show to suggest that players should tone down their celebrations in front of opposition fans, but Crerand was disgusted by the insinuation that Ferdinand had any responsibility for the incident and repeatedly challenged the station to say how many people had blamed Ferdinand.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to listen to the audio interview…
Battle scar: Rio Ferdinand's face is covered in blood after being hit by a coin
Doubling up: Ferdinand reacts after being hit by a coin
Blue mist: Ferdinand holds his head as a blue flare is thrown onto the pitch
Outburst: Retired Manchester United footballer Paddy Crerand hit out at Radio 5 live presenters
'Who said that That is ridiculous,' Crerand said.
'What planet do they live on That is absolute garbage. How many people have phoned you up One, two, three How many Why make a statement like that if you haven’t got (the number of listeners) to hand…if you haven’t got the evidence”
Asked to respond to the suggestion that Ferdinand could have provoked the attacks, Crerand added: 'I think the point is absolutely ludicrous.'
At one point Crerand asked interviewer Chris Warburton: 'Is this a publicity stunt Ask me a sensible question and don’t talk stupid, asking me daft questions about whether fans should celebrate or not.'
Warburton’s co-presenter Rachel Burden interjected to suggest to Crerand that there may have been a misunderstanding of the question that had been asked.
Crerand demanded again to know how many people had contacted the show.
'How many texts A million Half a million A hundred thousand'
Crerand added: 'Rio Ferdinand was nowhere near where the home fans were. He gets struck by a coin that someone has thrown from about 15 or 20 yards, it wasn't as if he was standing in front of their supporters jumping up and down.'
After Burden asked Crerand a couple of questions, he said: 'Why have you changed commentators, why have you come on all of a sudden'
Crerand was told it was standard for both presenters to contribute questions and Warburton said: 'Don't worry, I haven't run scared Paddy.'
Leaving it late: Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck celebrate Manchester United's late winner
Crerand later insisted he stood by what he had said in his radio interview.
He said the issue was with a coin being thrown, not the players' reaction, and therefore he was not prepared to add fuel to what he considered was the wrong debate.
'It is a local derby and you are expected to get carried away, particularly after you've come back having been 2-0 up and let it get to 2-2,' he said.
Led away: Van Persie and Ferdinand walk away after the celebrations
'But they (5 live) were looking for something sensationalist, they weren't looking for anything sensible.
'They were interested in making it worse than it was.'
'They said they had received lots of calls from fans but they couldn't say how many. One of them (Burden) was not even at the game, they didn't even see it.'
Crerand condemned the throwing of objects at players.
'What do people think about when they do that' he added.
'It was stupidity and it shouldn't happen but it is very difficult to find out who threw the coin.'
PADDY CRERAND INTERVIEW: FULL TRANSCRIPT
Former Manchester United midfielder Paddy Crerand this morning gave an extraordinary interview to BBC Radio Five Live on the subject of the trouble which marred yesterday’s Manchester derby. United defender Rio Ferdinand was hit by a coin thrown from the crowd as he celebrated Robin van Persie’s late winner, but when it was suggested to Crerand that Ferdinand’s celebrations in front of Manchester City fans may have played a part in the incident, he responded with an angry confrontation with presenters Chris Warburton and Rachel Burden.
Chris Warburton: We’ve had a lot of people getting in touch saying the players have to take a bit of responsibility, stop celebrating in front of opposing fans and stoking it up. I just wondered what your thoughts are on that
Paddy Crerand: Who’s said that Who’s made that statement
CW: We’ve had various calls and texts from our listeners, Paddy.
PC: What planet do they live on
CW: Well, you tell me.
PC: Well, I’ve no idea. I was at the game yesterday, do you expect fans not to celebrate when their team scores a goal
CW: No, no, what they’re suggesting is that players are going up to opposing fans and celebrating in front of them and that that stokes the crowd up.
PC: I was at the game yesterday and that is absolute rubbish. Who suggested that, and where did that come from Absolute garbage. How many people phoned you up One Two Three
CW: No, no, we’ve had various texts this morning saying the same thing as well.
PC: Well how many Tell me how many. If you’re going to make a statement like you’re making a statement now, tell me how many.
CW: Just take it from me that we have had a good number of texts…
PC: I’m not taking it from you, you tell me.
CW: Well, I haven’t got it to hand Paddy.
PC: Well why make a statement then, if you haven’t got it to hand No I’m not taking it from you, why do you make a statement like that when you haven’t got the evidence
CW: Well, what do you think of the point
PC: I think the point is absolutely ludicrous. You go to a football match, or any sporting situation, and you think people shouldn’t celebrate What planet are your people on at all
CW: No, no, that’s not what’s being suggested.
PC: That’s what you’re suggesting.
CW: In terms of…
PC: In terms of what Now you’re making excuses for yourself.
CW: I was going to ask you a different question Paddy.
PC: Yeah, go on then.
CW: In terms of the environment at a derby, how has it changed from when you were playing
PC: It’s not changed in any way whatsoever. I don’t care that it’s a derby, or any football match, people celebrate when their team scores a goal. What do you expect them to do, be quiet I don’t know what you’re suggesting, I’m totally amazed.
Just a minute please – is this a publicity stunt
CW: No. I think I’ve been quite clear in what I’m saying to you Paddy. Let me ask you a question about the football.
PC: Yeah, well ask me a sensible question then. Don’t talk stupid and ask me daft questions about whether fans should celebrate or not.
CW: Well we asked Danny Mills the question about an hour ago, Paddy, and he gave us quite a reasonable answer.
PC: Well what did he say to you I’ve no idea what Danny Mills says to you, what was his reasonable answer
CW: He told us that you can’t hold players in any way responsible.
PC: Of course you can’t. Why make a thing about a sensible answer that Danny Mills gave you that people should celebrate Of course they should celebrate.
Rachel Burden: I think there might be a bit of misunderstanding here. A number of people texted the programme and people called Five Live…
PC: How many texts A million
RB: If you’d let me finish…
PC: Half a million
RB: If you’d let me finish…
PC: Hundred thousand
RB: If you’d let me finish the point…
RB: …and the point was about Rio Ferdinand going down to an area where home fans were and celebrating in front of them.
PC: Let me say something to you. Did you watch the game yesterday
RB: I listened to it.
PC: Well you didn’t watch it then, you don’t know what happened then. Rio Ferdinand was nowhere near where the away fans – where the home fans were. He gets struck by a coin that somebody’s thrown from about 15 or 20 yards, it’s not like he was standing in front of their supporters jumping up and down. He was 15 or 20 yards from their fans.
RB: Do you remember things like that happening when you were playing in these derbies
PC: I don’t remember anything like that happening, no.
RB: So do you think the atmosphere has got worse over the years
PC: Why did you change commentators Why have you come on all of a sudden
RB: That’s just the way it works on the programme, we both join in together.
CW: Don’t worry, I haven’t run scared Paddy.
PC: Oh, I thought you’d run away there for a minute. No, but let me say, it was a great football match, no question about that. When it went to two each, I thought City were the team that were going to win it. Manchester United finished up winning with a deflected goal and you can’t not accept the fact that fans would celebrate when the third goal went in. And derby matches are a lot different from ordinary matches, obviously, but why somebody would throw something at Rio Ferdinand is totally stupid. Why a fan would run on the pitch…
And to be fair to Manchester City, a United fan ran on to the pitch last year when United beat City 4-3. So the effects of football on people sometimes can go to the extreme, it shouldn’t happen but it does happen unfortunately. And particularly in matches that are local derbies.
AUDIO: listen to Paddy's rant on BBC Radio 5 live… click here for more…
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