Ex-Manchester United man Patrice Evra has revealed the intense meeting he had with Sir Alex Ferguson that convinced him to join Manchester United and, as it turns out, reject Liverpool.
The former French fullback recently appeared on fellow teammate Rio Ferdinand‘s FIVE podcast to discuss all things football, United and plenty more, so it was no surprise that talk eventually turned to Sir Alex Ferguson and the impact he had on his career.
Rolling back the years to 2006 when Evra first joined United, the 41-year-old shone some light on the rather full-on first meeting he had with Sir Alex and then chief executive David Gill in Paris, which involved lots of translation and the usual no-nonsense approach from his soon-to-be manager.
As he remembers it, the conversation was “like an interview with the FBI”.
Evra detailed how he, Sir Alex, Gill and his agent all met in a special room at Charles de Gaulle Airport and the Scots’ first questions were straight to the point: “Do you drink?… Do you like to go out?; Are you ready to not lose a game? Are you ready to not even draw one game?” etc.
He went on to explain that from the moment he shook Sir Alex’s hand, he felt as though if he let the team and him down, in particular, “this man would kill me—but it was really impressive.” Crazy to think the kind of impact he could have in such a short space of time.
To make the story even more high-stakes, Patrice also revealed that before he signed on the dotted line for United, he could have very well joined their rivals further down the River Mersey.
Yes, Patrice said that “before United came, [me and] my agent, we had Liverpool and Inter Milan”, adding that his agent was so excited to get the call from Old Trafford.
He insisted that the move was always leaning in United’s favour as he had grown up watching club legend Eric Cantona, who had a “big influence” on his decision.
However, the move materialised mainly down to SAF himself: “When I met Ferguson, I felt like something special — you feel like his aura. If you do well for this man you feel, you are going to win and achieve lot of things”.
Cut to a few years later and he was right, he won pretty much everything there is to win a club level barring the FA Cup. Go figure.
You can watch the full interview, including Patrice Evra’s story of the time he chose to confront Sir Alex Ferguson down below:
With one of the lowest average ages in the league, the squad’s stellar second-place finish looks to be a sign of even better things to come next season.
Better still, the accolades didn’t stop there as player turned coach (for this season at least), Ryan Williams, won the National Futsal Series Tier Two Coach of the Year award at the 2023 Grand Finals as well.
After suffering a heavy ACL injury, Williams decided to spend his year coaching the B team, which he also led to second position, finishing just six points behind league leaders Derby and only just missing out on a place in the Futsal Champions League preliminaries.
At just 23, Ryan is one of the youngest to have ever won the award and having studied at Ashton Sixth Form College, the school passed on a “huge well done” to the youngster, adding that “the Sport and Public Services department, in particular, are hugely proud of your achievement.”
Writing on social media, Williams also heaped massive praise and credit on co-owner Ilya Ovechkin and coach Raducio King, among many others, who helped him on his coaching journey.
Speaking to The Manc, he went on to add: “It was my first season working with this squad and the competition was high.
“There was never an easy game with a lot of other great coaches across the country in Tier 2, so to win Coach of the Season is my greatest achievement as a coach. Manchester Futsal winning Club of the Season also goes to show our club values and how well the club is run from the academy right up to the first team.
“It shows how much work all the staff have put in this season to make us the best club in the country.”
With two teams finishing as runners-up in the two highest leagues in the country, and the women’s team beginning to shape an exciting new squad ahead of returning to the fold next season, it’s been a brilliant year all-round for Manchester Futsal Club. We’re excited to see what comes next.
Featured Image — Manchester Futsal Club (via Twitter)
Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim gives Manchester United an ultimatum after submitting fifth bid
Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has issued Manchester United an ultimatum after submitting a fifth and supposedly final bid to buy the club.
Entering his fifth revised bid to buy Man United outright on Wednesday, the Middle Eastern banker and member of the Qatari royal family is reported to have told the club he is willing to pay “no more than £6 billion” for the takeover, an offer which sees him become the first to match the Glazer’s asking price.
However, in trying to give the negotiations a much-needed jolt — with Sheikh Jassim said to have grown frustrated with the long, drawn-out bidding process — his latest proposal also came with an ultimatum, telling the owners that they have until Friday, 8 June to accept his offer or else he will walk away.
So, rather than being strung along by the Glazers any further and potentially being dragged into another round of bidding with an arbitrary deadline, he has now given them until the end of the week to return their decision.
As Sky Sports‘ Kaveh Solhekol went on to explain, Sheikh Jassim is now “frustrated and fed up” with how the bidding process has gone thus far, noting that talks first began almost seven months ago and there have been multiple so-called ‘deadlines’ that have led to little consequence or progress.
As a result, his bidding team have told the Glazers, board members and the Raine Group officials overseeing any potential deal that he will “no longer engage with the process” if the fifth bid is not accepted by Friday.
The chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) who spent time in England whilst being educated at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst also wants to get the deal done as quickly as possible in order to clear the debts and properly fund the project at the earliest opportunity ahead of next season.
In addition to clearing United’s debts which are estimated to be just under £1bn, the sheikh will reportedly pump sizeable funds into redeveloping the stadium (or building a new one) and investing in the squad. While his exact net worth is not known, his family’s wealth is estimated at around £275 billion.
As for whether the Glazers will actually adhere to Sheikh Jassim’s deadline and accept his fifth and final bid, it remains to be seen, but it looks like someone needs to take charge in these negotiations if they actually going to move forward.
Gary Neville has already warned that the “shoddy” bidding process could end up jeopardising next season if it continues to go on any longer and many fans think the Qatari prince’s all-or-nothing offer is the only option to finally get rid of the Glazers.