Sir Alex Ferguson: Press conferences can kill managers

Ross McLean
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Ferguson used a press conference to dictate the agenda (Source: Getty)
Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists the manager’s press conference is the most pivotal battleground in football and one which can prove terminal to an individual’s career if executed shabbily.

Ferguson attracted a reputation for using a press conference to dictate the agenda during his 26-year managerial career at Old Trafford, a time in which he won 38 trophies.

Speaking at the launch of his new book, Leading, at the Royal Festival Hall last night, Ferguson revealed that he still takes a very keen interest in the art of conducting a press conference and the “mind games” for which he was famed.

“For a manager, no matter the result, at a press conference you need to come out as the winner,” said Ferguson. “One of my hobbies now is to watch press conferences. You can kill yourself in a press conference. It’s an important part of your job.”

Ferguson also suggested that United’s decision to splash out an initial £36m in order to lure teenage forward Anthony Martial from Monaco has been justified in the short-term given his goal return.

The 19-year-old scored from each his first three shots on target in English football as he followed up his solo strike against Liverpool with a double against Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday. Current United manager Louis Van Gaal branded the Martial fee “ridiculous”, something which Ferguson disputes. He said: “Not at the moment it’s not.”

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