Tag Archives: managerial

Dowie emerges as leading contender for vacant Oldham job after Scholes link is dismissed

Dowie emerges as leading contender for vacant Oldham job after Scholes link is dismissed

By
Aidan Mccartney

PUBLISHED:

01:15 GMT, 5 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:02 GMT, 5 February 2013

Iain Dowie is leading the race to become the next Oldham Athletic manager, despite bookmakers installing Oldham fan Paul Scholes as shock favourite.

Latics chairman Simon Corney is eager to install a new boss before the club’s FA Cup fifth-round clash against Everton next Saturday.

Surprisingly the 38-year-old midfielder was labelled as a front-runner but Corney has denied any suggestions that the Old Trafford legend would be taking the post.

Out of work: Dowie's last managerial job was in 2010 he unsuccessfully tried to keep Hull City in the Premier League

Out of work: Dowie's last managerial job was in 2010 when he unsuccessfully tried to keep Hull City in the Premier League

‘If Paul Scholes was to so much as express a desire to come here, it would refresh the whole club and of course I would be interested,’ Corney said.

‘But is it going to happen No, it isn't and there has been no contact between ourselves and Paul Scholes.

‘For one thing, I cannot see him wanting to go from earning 60,000-a-week at Manchester United to 600-a-week at Oldham!

Despite engineering their famous victory over Liverpool, Paul Dickov resigned on Sunday after a run of poor form in League One which left the Boundary Park side just outside the relegation zone.

Relaxed: Scholes at United's Doha training camp

Favourite: Scholes, seen here relaxing at United's Doha training camp, has emerged as the bookies choice for the Oldham job

Dowie has previous experience of managing Oldham after taking the club to the League One play-offs in 2002-03 and

Corney confirmed that he has been in contact with the former QPR manager.

‘Iain and I are good friends and we speak on a regular basis, but the club has time to make the right appointment,’ added Corney.

‘I would certainly expect a manager to be in place in time for the FA Cup tie against Everton next week and hopefully the issue may be resolved before the game against MK Dons this weekend.’

Nigel Adkins sacking by Southampton and replacement with Mauricio Pochettino is lunacy

Adkins sacking is lunacy but Saints must heed warning from Chelsea fans' abuse

By
James Coney, Money Mail Editor

PUBLISHED:

15:56 GMT, 18 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 18 January 2013

You’d find it hard to find one
football fan, let alone any who support Southampton, who does not
believe the sacking of Nigel Adkins is complete madness.

Saints
had a terrible first few games back in the top flight. But even though
they lost eight in 10 matches there were few fans who lost confidence Adkins would get the team out of trouble.

And
the faith was rewarded. Saints have lost two in just 12 games,
including draws at Chelsea and Stoke and at home to Arsenal.

Ruthless: Nigel Adkins was sacked by Southampton despite consecutive promotions and improved form

Ruthless: Nigel Adkins was sacked by Southampton despite consecutive promotions and improved form

Saint marching in: Former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino is the shock appointment at St Mary's

Saint marching in: Former Espanyol manager Mauricio Pochettino is the shock appointment at St Mary's

Even though the side are just above the relegation places, there are few who don’t believe the only way is up.

The players clearly respect Adkins and the fans adore him.

Yet
club chairman Nicola Cortese has sacked the manager of a team, who just
two days drew, and almost beat, the champions of Europe.

He
has been replaced with a man few will have heard of, and by all
accounts speaks little English. His managerial career hardly sparkles –
getting Espanyol a couple of mid-table finishes before being sacked when
they were at the foot of La Liga.

Fighting spirit: Rickie Lambert (second left) helped the Saints hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw just two days ago

Fighting spirit: Rickie Lambert (second left) helped the Saints hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw just two days ago

Fighting spirit: Rickie Lambert (second left) helped the Saints hold Chelsea to a 2-2 draw just two days ago

FRANTIC FRIDAY

Read all the news of an unbelievable day on the south coast in MailOnline:

Southampton SACK Adkins and replace him with Pochettino just two days after drawing away at European champions Chelsea

Meet the man Southampton hope will keep them up… Pochettino unveiled but he can't speak English and admits he has been researching the Saints 'for several weeks'!

From sinner to Saint: Watch Southampton boss Pochettino foul Owen in the box

But
what is going through the head of every Saints fan will be this: Please
don’t let this be the start of another managerial merry-go-round.

Saints had 12 managers in eight years
before being relegated. Many of these were hopeless, some went on to
bigger clubs.

But sacking one who had gained two promotions in
consecutive seasons and had bought and built a talented team which
players bright attractive football seems like lunacy.

I
was at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night. Three times the travelling
support sung Adkins’ name – even when the side were trailing 2-0 at half
time.

By contrast I
was struck by the horrible atmosphere among the Chelsea fans who despise
the sacking of their former manager. The abuse and animosity is having a
detrimental effect on the team’s home performances.

It’s a warning Saints supporters should heed.

I suspect there will now be the same level of anger towards the chairman by the Saints fans.
And
if that starts affecting performances then a side which was slowly
climbing the table could quickly fall back in to trouble.

First day: Pochettino gives his first press conference on Friday, ahead of Saints' game with Everton on Monday

First day: Pochettino gives his first press conference on Friday, ahead of Saints' game with Everton on Monday

Sam Allardyce accepts damages from Steve Kean and Blackburn Rovers

Allardyce accepts damages from Blackburn and Kean over foul-mouthed rant

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

11:21 GMT, 6 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 6 January 2013

Steve Kean pulled out of a scheduled appearance on Goals on Sunday today, the day after Sam Allardyce accepted an out-of-court settlement believed to be in the region of 200,000 from him and Blackburn Rovers.

Former Blackburn manager Kean had to fork out after derogatory claims were made about Allardyce by him in the summer of 2011.

SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF KEAN'S RANT

Steve Kean

Sam Allardyce

No love lost: Sam Allardyce (right) and his former No 2 Steve Kean

Goals on Sunday co-host Chris Kamara revealed the short-notice change on Twitter this morning.

He said: 'Morning all. Last minute lineup change Didi Hamann and Phil Brown with me and the adorable @benshephard tweet him any questions 11till 12.'

Kean was filmed making the remarks by supporters during a pre-season trip Blackburn made to Hong Kong.

Kean’s allegations about the
operating methods, integrity and managerial ability of Allardyce — his
predecessor at Ewood Park — were made public when the fans published a
video of the conversation on YouTube.

Allardyce took legal action against
Kean personally and against Rovers. The action has been settled with a
payment to Allardyce, who is now manager of West Ham. On Saturday all
parties involved in the case declined to comment.

VIDEO: Kean's foul-mouthed tirade

Blackburn Rovers wants experienced manager to replace Henning Berg

Blackburn advisor Singh insists new boss will be 'very experienced' as he rules out move for Comical Ali

|

UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

Blackburn's global advisor Shebby Singh has revealed he is in discussions with some experienced candidates to fill the managerial vacancy at Ewood Park.

On Thursday, Singh sacked Henning Berg only 57 days and 10 games after appointing the former Rovers crowd favourite.

And on Friday, Singh was forced to dispel rumours that untested amateur and youth coach Judan Ali was set to take up a role on Blackburn's coaching staff having taken first-team training alongside Singh in the wake of Berg's departure.

Plenty to ponder: Shebby Singh watches Blackburn as they win at Barnsley

Plenty to ponder: Shebby Singh watches Blackburn as they win at Barnsley

Berg's record of one win during this period came on the back of Steve Kean's deeply unpopular spell in charge that saw the club relegated to the npower Championship in May.

Despite winning at Barnsley on Saturday, Blackburn lie 15th in the table – eight points shy of the play-off places.

Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live's 606 programme, Singh hinted he may be ready to grant the wishes of large sections of the club's support by appointing a candidate with a proven track record but offered no guarantees.

'Most certainly, that (experience) is something that we are looking at,' he said.

'I am in conversation with a couple of very, very experienced managers.

'But again we have to accept there's no secret formula. There's always the one who didn't work out.'

Three and easy: Rovers celebrate as Jordan Rhodes nets their third goal

Three and easy: Rovers celebrate as Jordan Rhodes nets their third goal

One that certainly did not work out was Berg and Singh accepted responsibility for getting that decision wrong, while standing by the call to terminate the 43-year-old's reign in its infancy.

'Hindsight is very good but at the end of the day, all decisions whether right or wrong will only be proven in due time,' he said.

'Unfortunately our results were not very encouraging, performances were not the best and you've got to decide how long can you put up with that.

'When you make a decision you always think you make the right decision but things sometimes don't work out so there's nothing out of the ordinary.

'It was 10 games, let's look at it that way from a football angle. Ten games is a lifetime, it can decide the future of a club for many, many years.

'I'll put up my my hands and say if I got it wrong, I got it wrong. But it's not the end of the world. You still have to think there are aspects of the club which have progressed.'

Denial: Singh says Judan Ali will not be joining the club's coaching staff

Denial: Singh says Judan Ali will not be joining the club's coaching staff

He repeated his stance on Ali on Saturday evening but did not rule the bookmakers favourite, former Aston Villa assistant manager Kevin MacDonald, out of the running for the post.

'It is really stupid for anyone to think that – it's down right stupidity for anyone to suggest that,' he added.

'I was at the training ground but when it comes to being on the pitch I've got no involvement.

'So you can hear it now from the horses' mouth – I did not take training.

'Those two names (Ali and MacDonald) were never mentioned by me but I will defend Kevin MacDonald.

'He's a great coach, he's done extremely well with Aston Villa. I would like to be friends with him.'

Alex McLeish: I"ll win over Nottingham Forest fans with positive results

I'll banish negative reputation with positive results, insists McLeish after Forest fans' backlash against new boss

|

UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alex McLeish mounted a sterling defence of his managerial methods as he countered criticism that his appointment is a backward step for Nottingham Forest.

The Scot returned to the game following an eight-month absence after his sacking by Aston Villa, struggling to shake off the perception that he was a negative coach.

Social networking sites were awash with opposition to his arrival but the former Rangers coach brushed aside suggestions that he would dismantle what Sean O'Driscoll had left behind.

I'm in charge: Alex McLeish poses with a Nottingham Forest shirt at the City Ground on Friday

I'm in charge: Alex McLeish poses with a Nottingham Forest shirt at the City Ground on Friday

'I am an organised coach,' said the erstwhile protege of Sir Alex Ferguson. 'I can't apologise for that. I think people might be confusing the issue.

'I could have nine positives on my CV and one negative and some people would point out the negative.

'Winning games will help get the fans behind me. It's not as if I'm Jose Mourinho walking in here and it's a unanimously popular decision.

'Some of the fans may not be with me but if we win games and play the kind of football that they produced against Leeds, there's no reason why we cannot get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

'The situation here is simple. If it ain't broke, why fix it We have a good bunch of players playing good football.

'What I've got to do is brainwash these guys into have winning mentalities.

Back on the training pitch: McLeish on Friday morning during his first session as Forest boss

Back on the training pitch: McLeish on Friday morning during his first session as Forest boss

'You don't do that by winning against Leeds, then losing the next game. That means winning against Leeds, then winning the game after that…and the one after that.

'I think there is a few players in our dressing-room who are capable of that.'

McLeish has agreed a one-year rolling contract with Forest and his assistant at Villa Park, Peter Grant, will be joining him at the City Ground.

His brief is to 'mount a very serious challenge' and, in fairness to the Scot, it was not his fault that O'Driscoll was making a decent fist of that before the axe fell on Boxing Day.

McLeish said that the job was a 'wonderful opportunity' but that he needed a break after an horrific end to his stay at Villa Park. A text reading 'Welcome back to the asylum' from Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy was received with a smile.

Unwanted reputation: The former Scotland boss is ready to prove certain disapproving fans wrong

Unwanted reputation: The former Scotland boss is ready to prove certain disapproving fans wrong

'It was a difficult job at Villa but one I met head on,' he said, 'It was great to get over the line despite the catalogue of horrors we had there.

'It had been draining. I was on a bit of a downer after leaving Birmingham.

'But I don't regret it. It's just that the glove maybe didn't fit.

'It wasn't easy at Villa. It's not easy to turn that club around overnight with a few changes. Paul (Lambert) is maybe finding that. It's been a roller-coaster for him.

'But that's in the past now as far as I'm concerned. I'm at Nottingham Forest now and I couldn't be more delighted with that.'

Alex McLeish – 10 reasons why he"s the RIGHT man for Nottingham Forest

Angry Forest fans, read this… 10 reasons why Alex McLeish is the RIGHT man for your club

|

UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alex McLeish has faced a backlash from many Nottingham Forest fans after being appointed to replace sacked Sean O'Driscoll.

After troubles with Birmingham and Aston Villa, it's fair to say not every Forest supporter has welcomed him back to the Midlands' football scene.

Here, Sportsmail offers up 10 reasons why he is a good fit for the ambitious Championship side…

First day at the office: McLeish has run the rules over his new players

First day at the office: McLeish has run the rules over his new players

1 Wealth of experience – you do not manage Motherwell, Hibernian, Glasgow Rangers, the Scotland national team, Birmingham City and Aston Villa in a managerial career spanning almost two decades unless you know your way around football.

2 He knows what is needed to win promotion – he did it with Hibernian in Scotland and Birmingham CIty in England.

3 Good contacts – Sir Alex Ferguson gave McLeish very public backing when he took over at Villa Park. It may only need one or two crucial additions for Forest to reach the top six – or better.

4 Players like him. Upon his appointment last night, both Ben Foster and Liam Ridgewell – who both played under McLeish at St Andrew's – immediately went on twitter to add their voices to the chorus of well-wishers.

Big fan: Ben Foster tweeted his admiration for McLeish after the news

Big fan: Ben Foster tweeted his admiration for McLeish after the news

5 He will receive more time than Sean O'Driscoll because he is a man chosen specifically for the post by the Kuwaiti owners.

McLeish targets promotion

McLeish oversaw his first training session and spoke to the press after being formally unveiled as the new Forest boss today.

He said: 'It looks like an absolutely wonderful challenge for me. It's been a whirlwind for me. A surprise but a very welcome surprise.

'We have to target getting into the top six – then we will be gunning for the Premier League.

'I took both jobs (at Birmingham and Aston Villa) when those clubs were in difficulty. The goal was to guide both to safety. And I was pleased that we got Villa over the line despite the horrors of that season.

'The key to success in this league is winning a succession of games. We did that at Birmingham and got back at the first time of asking.

'Everyone should be bursting to get back into the Premier League.'

6 He will have learnt from his experience at Villa Park which, frankly, was an unmitigated disaster for all concerned.

7 He is hungry for success. He needs another chance to re-establish his credentials.

McLeish is a proud man and won't want the Aston Villa experience to be his epitaph in football.

8 He's leaner! During his time out of the game he hired a personal trainer to get himself fit for action once more.

9 He
will uphold Forest's traditions, certainly off the pitch. He was a good
ambassador both at Birmingham City and Aston Villa. Club staff will
like him.

10 Forest's
fans are a reasonable bunch, they will give him a chance.

McLeish's
style is first and foremost to protect what he has got – it might lead
to more conservative football but it is more likely to be winning
football. And that, ultimately, is what he has been employed to bring to
Nottingham Forest.

The future's bright: Forest are aiming to reach the Premier League

The future's bright: Forest are aiming to reach the Premier League

Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers sack managers – Michael Walker

'Tis the season to sack managers in desperation

|

UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 27 December 2012

Blackburn Rovers host Nottingham Forest on New Year’s Day. That should make for an interesting pre-match boardroom. The sometimes-present Indian owners of Blackburn (founded 1875) may be at Ewood Park to shake hands with the sometimes-present Kuwaiti owners of Forest (founded 1865).

/12/27/article-2253953-16A8F759000005DC-402_468x286.jpg” width=”468″ height=”286″ alt=”Sacked: Forest dismissed Sean O'Driscoll despite sitting just one point outside the Championship play-offs” class=”blkBorder” />

Sacked: Forest dismissed Sean O'Driscoll despite sitting just one point outside the Championship play-offs

It feels at times in the Championship as if there is a giant game of scramble going on. Leicester City have made eight managerial changes since 2007. They remain a Championship club – one formed in 1884, now Thai-owned.

Malaysian-controlled Cardiff City replaced Dave Jones with Malky Mackay and forced a club called the Bluebirds (formed 1899) to play in red.

For Cardiff it is working. So far. They are five points clear at the top of the Championship and the Premier League are already thinking of them.

Cardiff are one of just six Championship clubs not to have played in the Premier League and, if they go up, would be ‘Club 46’ – meaning half the pyramid would have appeared in the Premier League.

That reveals a level of democracy and meritocracy we do not always associate with the 20-year-old breakaway league.

What we, and Championship club owners, think about more often is the wealth of the top flight.

Flying high: Cardiff City are top of the Championship wearing red

Flying high: Cardiff City are top of the Championship wearing red

If there is a logical reason O’Driscoll and Berg have been dismissed from their posts in the past 36 hours it is that: money.

When the term ‘Moneyball’ came into circulation it was meant to convey economic cuteness in sport, the recognising of the under-valued and exploiting it. In Championship reality, Moneyball is a phrase that conveys desperation, a chase, one increasingly fuelled by foreign money, one getting ever more urgent.

Talk to anyone in football and they will say this is a very good season to be promoted to the Premier League and a very bad one to be relegated from it. The explanation is the new TV rights deal, which kicks in next season.

The ballpark figure for a deal, which is around 80 per cent concluded, is that it will be worth 5billion to Premier League clubs over the next three seasons. Five billion.

Before a ball is kicked in August 2013 that means the club finishing 20th in May 2014 are guaranteed to bring in between 50-55million for simply being part of the elite. That is a jump from the 39m Wolves received from television for coming 20th last season.

With guaranteed parachute payments of approximately 34m over four seasons following relegation, it means there is an immediate financial reward of 85-90m for promotion this season.

Paying the price: Berg was only unveiled at Ewood Park on November 1

Paying the price: Berg was only unveiled at Ewood Park on November 1

Add the 10-15m impact of promotion on
season tickets, plus a hike in sponsorship fees and that ‘90m match’
that is the Championship play-off final becomes the ‘100m match’, maybe
even the 110m match. It’s a different form of Moneyball.

At Ewood Park they will know these figures keenly. Blackburn received just over 40m from TV in their relegation in May. They are now half a season into the first of four parachute payments totalling around 34m. These are front-loaded, so in the first two seasons the payments are about 11m, the following two are around 6m.

With their first lump of 11m, Blackburn spent 8m on Huddersfield Town striker Jordan Rhodes.

Rhodes has scored 11 goals in 20 Blackburn appearances but Rovers are 16 points off second-placed Hull City.

More promisingly, Rovers are eight points off the play-offs, which is a statistic to sell to wary managers. But there were only 12,000 people in attendance at Blackburn’s last home game.

Next season three other clubs will have 11m in parachute payments to spend. That will bring increased competition, more pressure and more managers being dropped off the Championship’s fiscal cliff.

Blackburn Rovers could appoint Judan Ali after Henning berg sacking

It's comical Ali! Blackburn linked to former India Under 15s and Dagenham community coach

|

UPDATED:

23:14 GMT, 27 December 2012

Blackburn's Indian owners are preparing to appoint English professional football’s first British Asian coach, a 39-year-old former Arsenal trainee who until recently was running a community youth programme in Dagenham.

Judan Ali has also been the subject of ‘below average’ Bollywood movie Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal but his coaching experience hardly qualifies him to step in at Ewood Park in the wake of Henning Berg’s shock dismissal. Ali’s finest achievement to date was leading an Indian Under 15 side to victory in Arsenal’s ‘football festival’ in 2011.

But the Venky’s family see Ali as part of a managerial team alongside head coach Kevin MacDonald, the former Aston Villa coach.

Youth role: Ali meets England boss Roy Hodgson earlier this year

Youth role: Ali meets England boss Roy
Hodgson earlier this year

Ali’s Twitter page has been taken down but on it, he had described himself as ‘an independent football coach leading those who want to further themselves on the world stage and to surpass the elite’.

Berg was sacked on Thursday after just 57 days and a run of one win from 10 games that has left Blackburn 17th in the Championship.

Before his departure he had, however, met Ali, who had spent a week observing the Norwegian former Rovers defender at the club’s Brockhall headquarters.

Blackburn are said to be comfortable seeing how the arrangement with MacDonald and Ali works out, and will not rush into appointing a more high-profile manager. Roberto Di Matteo heads a list of possible targets should Venky’s change their view. Youth development boss Gary Bowyer is set to take charge for Saturday’s trip to Barnsley.

London-born Ali, whose family moved to the UK from India, was on Arsenal’s books as a YTS trainee but blamed the racist culture within English football in the 80s and 90s for his failure to secure a professional contract in this country. He played for Spanish club Murcia before his coaching career.

Struggling: Blackburn are 17th in the Championship despite spending 8m on Jordan Rhodes (right) and paying Premier League wages for the likes of Danny Murphy (left)

Struggling: Blackburn are 17th in the Championship despite spending 8m on Jordan Rhodes (right) and paying Premier League wages for the likes of Danny Murphy (left)

‘My goal is to become the first British Asian Premier League manager,’ he said. ‘I want to take a country to the World Cup and the 2022 tournament in Qatar is my goal.

‘It’s a myth that British Asians cannot play football. I hope I’m showing young Asians in this country that they can make it and that things are changing from the experiences I suffered as a teenager.’

Ali’s appointment will form part of a move by Venky’s to assume closer control of the club. When they became the Premier League’s first Indian owners two years ago, the Rao family talked about tapping into Blackburn’s Asian community and offering a route into English football for young players from their homeland. They have plans to open an academy near the company headquarters in Pune.

Whether Blackburn’s fans will be receptive to the latest move is another matter, however, following Venky’s decision to axe Sam Allardyce in 2010, Steve Kean’s stormy reign and now Berg’s ill-fated stint.

Sacked: Berg was only unveiled at Ewood Park on November 1

Sacked: Berg was only unveiled at Ewood Park on November 1

The 43-year-old was made aware of his fate before going to Brockhall on Thursday morning to say his farewells. However, the coaching team Berg inherited from Kean – assistant Eric Black, first-team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeper coach Bobby Mimms – were only informed on arrival for work on Thursday.

From the start, it was clear Berg was not the first choice among candidates including other former Blackburn players Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay. He walked out of the club’s Christmas party last week after being asked to wear a stocking on his head and lost on Boxing Day at Middlesbrough – his fifth defeat in six games.

Berg issued a statement on Thursday: ‘I am bitterly disappointed to have been relieved of my managerial duties at Ewood Park after just 57 days since my appointment.’

Coincidentally, Kean has only just agreed a 1.2million settlement.

Alex McLeish says Sir Alex Ferguson is a true genius

Alex McLeish: Ferguson is a true genius and what we know about him is just the tip of the iceberg

|

UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 19 December 2012

I sincerely hope that those Harvard academics who worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson realise how fortunate they have been.

I can absolutely guarantee this morning that any coach worth his salt will be trying desperately to source that blueprint for success.

And, after the career Sir Alex has enjoyed, who could blame them

Pals: Sir Alex Ferguson with Alex McLeish while the latter was at Aston Villa

Pals: Sir Alex Ferguson with Alex McLeish while the latter was at Aston Villa

I think it was Team GB's cycling performance director Dave Brailsford that I heard talking about 'marginal gains' during the London Olympics.

Well, Sir Alex has been practising that throughout his managerial career. Pretty much since day one.

I'll give you an example from the day when I turned-out for Aberdeen's youth team in a match under the lights at Pittodrie against Celtic.

He wasn't in charge that night, but as manager he had come down to watch.

The game had gone badly. We were three-down at half-time. He raced from the stands to the dressing-room and launched into us.

He turned to one of the boys, a team-mate of mine called Malky Thomson – and said: 'Tomorrow son, first thing, you are going for an eye test.'

All the boys looked at each other, we thought he was taking the mickey. But Malky had been misjudging the flight of the ball in the floodlights.

Sir Alex had called it. He was spot on. Malky went for that eye test. Turned out that my pal needed contact lenses. Oh, and we won the match 5-3.

That's what I'm talking about. There
was a time at Aberdeen when he went absolutely ballistic at us for
conceding a corner – never mind a goal.

Looking back, I think he did it to prove a point about standards dropping. But nothing is lost on him. Nothing.

Ferguson

McLeish

Long way back: McLeish was Ferguson's captain when he managed Aberdeen

For example, people talk about 'Fergie time.' He will argue with me, you or anyone who will listen that it's warranted. He absolutely 100 per cent believes that he is right.

Everyone makes a joke out of it now, but it's part of the psychology of the man and it speaks volumes for his precision as a coach.

Of course, in later years, he has had to adapt his methods of dealing with players.

He is far more mellow now than when I was playing for him – although he remains adept at letting you know if he is upset.

Fancy seeing you here: McLeish, while at Rangers, with his old friend Ferguson

Fancy seeing you here: McLeish, while at Rangers, with his old friend Ferguson

But I'll always remember one of the lines from his after-dinner speeches.

He tells a story and ends with the words: 'I taught him everything he knows,' before adding, 'good job I didn't tell him everything I know.'

I don't think he is joking about the punchline, either.

So what those academics really heard and saw was but a snapshot of the man.

They will not be able to replicate the genius of Sir Alex Ferguson – no matter how hard they try.

Sir Alex Ferguson says he travelled to Harvard to help young people succeed

I want to pass on my expertise to the next generation of bosses, explains Fergie on decision to reveal all to Harvard professors

|

UPDATED:

10:51 GMT, 19 December 2012

Read the full Fergie study

You can purchase the Sir Alex Ferguson case study from Harvard Business School HERE

Sir Alex Ferguson says although he was sceptical, he imparted some of his management secrets to Harvard Business School students to help young people to succeed in their careers.

Ferguson, whose managerial methods and philosophies are the subject of a case study at the prestigious American university, has led United to unparalleled on-pitch success and has been instrumental in making them one of the world's biggest sporting brands over the past 26 years.

In 2011, HBS professor Anita Elberse and co-author Tom Dye travelled to Old Trafford to conduct meetings and interviews with Ferguson, past and present players, and staff at the club.

Business secrets of United: Sir Alex Ferguson spoke at Harvard Business School this year

Business secrets of United: Sir Alex Ferguson spoke at Harvard Business School this year

The Manchester United boss travelled to Boston earlier this year to assist in teaching some of the brightest young things in America. But why did he decide to open up

Ferguson said: 'When you’re approached by an institution like Harvard, you know you are dealing with top quality.

'I had to consider that I was opening myself up to something I’ve never done before.

'But at this stage of my life, I felt that if I’m helping young people progress through their own routes to management, then ultimately that was an important and compelling factor for me.'

Ferguson also praised the students he spoke to for their diligence.

Fergie time: The United manager travelled to Boston to spill some of his secrets

Fergie time: The United manager travelled to Boston to spill some of his secrets

He added in the Harvard Gazette: 'The whole atmosphere was professional,' said Ferguson.

'It was clear that they had done their homework. That was the important thing.

'They had properly read the case study and supplemented that with their own opinions and research. … That gave me a certain assurance that I had made the right decision to go ahead with the case.

'At this stage of my life, I felt that if
I’m helping young people progress through their own routes to
management, then ultimately that was an important and compelling factor
for me.'

– Sir Alex Ferguson

'The process was excellent, enjoyable, and comfortable,'

'I never felt intimidated in any way, and I never felt reluctant to be anything other than completely open.'

Elberse said that it was a dream come true to compile the Ferguson report, which focuses on his leadership skills, his body of work and the secrets to his success.

She said: 'It’s just a dream to be able to understand the drivers of his success'

Harvard logo

She was also delighted to have welcomed him in Boston.

'To have him there, and for students to be able to see him in action, see how he addresses a group, and see snippets of his personality, there’s no replacement for that live experience.'

Ferguson praised Elberse for her own style of management.

He said: 'The key element for me was Anita, and how she controlled the room. I am always talking about “control”.

'She controlled that room. She was the boss. I thought that was very impressive.'

The Fergie report: Harvard professors travelled to Old Trafford to interview the United manager

The Fergie report: Harvard professors travelled to Old Trafford to interview the United manager

No stranger: Sir Alex Ferguson at the University of St Andrews, where he was awarded an honorary degree in 2002

No stranger: Sir Alex Ferguson at the University of St Andrews, where he was awarded an honorary degree in 2002

FERGIE RUBBING SHOULDERS WITH THE STARS

Harvard drop-out: Matt Damon

Sir Alex joined a prestigious list of people to have wandered through the hallowed halls of Harvard when he made his visit.

Among the array of great political minds to have been moulded there are Barack Obama, Theodore Roosevelt, John F Kennedy and Benazir Bhutto, as well as Al Gore and Henry Kissinger to name only a few.

The Ivy League university was also attended by some of the world’s most famous actors, such as Natalie Portman and Tommy Lee Jones.

Matt Damon (right) was an undergraduate there, though he never graduated, having pursued acting instead.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates are among the best-known alumni, along with Fox News’ Bill O-Reilly.

The institution offers nearly 3,500 courses, with a average class size of 12, and has a 97 per cent graduation rate.

The great education comes at a price though. The university estimates that the total cost of one year of an undergraduate degree, including room, board and other expenses would amount to around $60,000 (nearly 40,000).

Financial aid is offered to around 70 per cent of undergraduates according to the university, with families on an income of under $65,000 not expected to contribute to college costs.

But getting a place is hard enough, with an acceptance rate of less than six per cent. Most of those admitted ranked in the top 10-15 per cent of their high school class and have taken the most rigorous course of education available.
LIV LEE