Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

BBC Match Report: Marcus Aurelius 1 Sir Alex Ferguson 0

Posted by hakanrylander on November 18, 2009

After six years of boycott, Sir Alex Ferguson will have to start talking to the BBC. That’s a result of new Premier League media rules in effect from the start of next season. Ferguson has not spoken to the BBC since 2004 when a Panorama documentary claimed that his son, Jason, was using his father’s status to gain influence in the transfer market.

It remains to be seen how Ferguson chooses to interpret the new rules. Maybe he will continue to send assistant manager Mike Phelan to BBC MotD interviews. Personally I think Ferguson should consider the advice from Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor (AD 121 – 180) who is perhaps best known for his Meditations on Stoic philosophy:

“Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

There’s no question that football clubs and broadcasters are tied more closely together than ever before, be it by fate or commercial realities. Global television is at the very heart of the business logic that brings millions of pounds to players and managers. Through television the “product” (a football game) can be sold to millions of people with very little additional production cost for each viewer.

It is well documented that Ferguson considers press conferences a total wast of time (except, I suppose, when they can be used for mind games) and occasionally treats reporters to rants from the Joe Kinnear School of Media Relations. I wouldn’t mind a more stoic approach in the future.

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One Response to “BBC Match Report: Marcus Aurelius 1 Sir Alex Ferguson 0”

  1. About time, some things just get ridiculous.

    And using your father’s status to gain influence… that’s totally unheard of.

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