Premier League - Fergie set for BBC showdown
Fri, 25 Mar 12:37:00 2011
Alex Ferguson is set for a face-to-face showdown with BBC director-general Mark Thompson.
The pair will sit down to try and end the seven-year dispute between Ferguson and the BBC over a documentary aired by the corporation alleging misconduct by Ferguson's football agent son Jason.
No date has yet been set for the two men to meet, but widespread reports claim Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards has secured an agreement from both parties to sit down and try to end the dispute once and for all.
Ever since the documentary was aired in 2004 Ferguson has refused to grant interviews to the BBC, repeatedly insisting that he will not break his silence until he has received an apology.
The BBC has steadfastly refused to say sorry, however, while Ferguson refused to back down even after new rules were brought in last season obliging club managers to speak to the BBC as one of the Premier League rights-holders.
The fines have had no effect, with Fergie insisting he would rather pay them than back down - but the multi-millionaire has been spared even that trouble after Manchester United agreed to cover the cost. The level of Ferguson's fines was decided at a league board meeting last October, and though it has yet to be publicly revealed it is thought to be in the region of £60,000.
Ferguson has accused the BBC of "breathtaking arrogance" in refusing to apologise for the "nonsense" documentary, but he has never brought legal proceedings against the corporation over the programme's content.