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Sunday, 14 September 2008

Fergie Derides Al-Ciddeh Again !!

Ciddeh’s new owners may brag about their Gulf wealth being able to entice any superstar. But Fergie knows otherwise — and he showed off new signing Dimitar Berbatov on Friday to prove it.

City tried to hijack Fergie’s year long pursuit of Berbatov on Sept 1 as the transfer window was closing, but the Bulgarian striker refused to be tempted by United’s less illustrious neighbours.

Ferguson, who has spent almost 22 years at Old Trafford now, knows that his club’s global pre-eminence and history can be as great an incentive to a player as wages.

“What you see here today has not been created overnight,’’ Ferguson said. “This club has been built up over many years and will be here for a long time.’’

The Abu Dhabi United group was undaunted about being rebuffed by Berbatov, instead signing Brazil forward Robinho and vowing to splurge its oil wealth on everyone from Liverpool striker Fernando Torres to Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas, plus an audacious plan to prize Cristiano Ronaldo away from Old Trafford in January for £135m.

“I disregard it really because it’s all talk at the moment when it comes down to trying to get players. There’s been a lot of talk about going for Cristiano, which is absolutely absurd. They may find it difficult to get the players they want. As we found with the negotiations with Dimitar, it’s not easy now.

“It depends how much money they want to throw at it to get all the star players they want, but we should not concern ourselves with what people are planning to do because it does not always work.’’

City manager Mark Hughes has even boasted that yesterday’s match with Chelsea will be a bigger attraction than the Reds Devils’ trip to Liverpool earlier in the day, branding it the “clash of the cash.’’

“I had better check what Mark has had for his breakfast because something must be upsetting him,’’ Ferguson said. “How many games did he play for United against Liverpool? Our game is the biggest. It is a great game.’’

The 66-year-old Ferguson has the historical perspective to know you can’t buy success, pointing to Sunderland’s relegation from the top flight in 1958 and the arrival of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich at Chelsea in 2003.

“Sunderland were relegated with the dearest team, every player was bought for astronomical fees,’’ Ferguson said. “You can buy 11 individuals but you don’t have a team. It’s difficult to say what’s going to happen to City.

“When Chelsea were doing the same thing, we were worried about it because we saw the quality they were bringing in. They got Michael Essien for £27mil, which was a level we could not reach. We thought they were going to be a handful and they were.’’

Chelsea’s revolution under Jose Mourinho didn’t rattle Ferguson, he just became more determined to topple the “new kids on the block.’’ After Jose and his boys won two Premier League titles, Ferguson responded by matching the feat and seeing Mourinho exit Chelsea.

“The great thing about my time at this club has been the challenge, there’s always a challenge for us,’’ Ferguson said, with Berbatov at his side. “Yes, we’ve bought big players — as we’ve done on this occasion again — but I don’t think it’s a cash cow that you’re seeing from Manchester United in the way that it could happen in other areas the way some clubs are talking at the moment.’’

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