Tottenham's official complaint about United's pursuit of Dimitar Berbatov met with predictably short shrift over the weekend from Alex Ferguson.
The United boss was quoted as saying he was confident he would sign Berbatov, an act described by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy as: "Unbelievably hypocritical given Ferguson's recent comments about Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid."
Ferguson denied all knowledge, and in so doing pulled off his usual trick of fighting an accusation of hypocrisy with more hypocrisy.
"It is going to be very embarrassing for Tottenham because they have based their complaint on a story in The Sun. I don't know where they got these quotes from, but it certainly wasn't me," he said.
How would Ferguson feel if he took out "Tottenham" and "The Sun" from that statement and replaced them with "Real Madrid" and "Marca"?
Given his vocal frustration with the Spanish tabloid's creative use of 'senior officials' at Real, probably not that good (recent quote: "They use Marca as their vehicle to unsettle players").
Fergie has never been the most self-critical, and has now reached the point in his career when he is past caring about the need for consistency or balance.
It's a bit like a casually racist grandparent. They know that kind of thing isn't really tolerated any more, but they equally know nobody's going to do anything about it.
But, while Spurs have a point, does it really help to throw a tantrum whenever a team tries to nab your best player?
All it does is establish a very clear pecking order based on who bullies whom.
Real Madrid can muscle Manchester United (Ronaldo)
Liverpool cannot muscle Manchester United (Gabriel Heinze)
Liverpool and Manchester United can both muscle Tottenham (Robbie Keane and Berbatov)
In Godfather terms, Spurs have just admitted they are Fredo Corleone. Liverpool are Sonny and United are Michael, while Real are obviously Marlon Brando, pre-burgers and seclusion.
Meanwhile, the Sunday People reported that Berbatov has been nicknamed "Misery Guts" by his team-mates, while Juande Ramos got in on the fun, fining him a week's wages for being such a wet blanket.
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At the same time as Spurs try desperately to cling onto their strikers, they are trying to sell a job lot of fringe players in a strange situation which sees Pascal Chimbonda cast as the voice of reason.
The French right-back has made all the right noises about joining Sunderland, describing Roy Keane as "fantastic" and adding: "The opportunity excites me".
Contrast that with hopeless team-mate Younes Kaboul, whose agent ensured him a warm welcome next time he plays on Wearside.
"Younes wouldn't join Sunderland even if there was an earthquake," said Rudy Raba, implying that an earthquake would somehow be a good thing, albeit not enough of one.
"We have more interesting options than Sunderland. I can tell you for sure that he's going to stay in England next season and, at Portsmouth, you are more watched. No disrespect, but playing at Sunderland would not help his international career."
More watched at Portsmouth? By whom? French scouts who can afford a ferry fare but not the train up north?
And no disrespect to Kaboul, but being one of the worst defenders in Premier League history isn't exactly helping his international career either.
It is yet another sign of a society in which nobody will take responsibility when a player (or rather his agent) considers his club the barometer of international chances, not whether he is any good or not.
So, what makes Chimbonda so keen on the move? There may be a clue in his quote, as reported by the Sun in January, about wanting to leave Spurs because: "It's all about the money."
Certainly Sunderland are not short of a bob or two, but crucially a footballer's not-so-hard-earned cash goes so much further in the north-east.
Perhaps Chimbonda has had a quick poke around rightmove.co.uk and discovered that he can get a whacking great mansion in the leafy Ashbrooke suburb for £1,500,000 - hardly enough for a two-up, two-down anywhere south of Cheshunt or north of Hastings.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Agents are nasty scum. They're evil and divisive and pointless. They only survive because the rest of the sport is so corrupt and because leading football club people employ their sons in the job. In my opinion, no owner in their right mind would willingly invite an average agent into his academy, any more than a brothel owner would let a syphilitic nutter into his whorehouse." You don't have to agree with Simon Jordan, but you have to enjoy having him around.
FOREIGN VIEW: That rubbish Sven impersonator might have pulled the wool over some particularly credulous people's eyes, but no such luck for a man who tried to pass himself off as Robert De Niro at a police checkpoint in Eastern Romania. A lawman said: "He was even dressed up like the Hollywood star with a designer suit and sunglasses - but he didn't fool officers. We knew that Robert de Niro would not be driving alone around a remote part of the country. We guessed he was an impostor."
TALKING POINT: euansutherland1: "You mentioned Cherno More Varna. Well I live in Varna and they are my local team! I went to see them last season against CSKA Sofia. It only cost 30 pence to get in everyone was eating sunflower seeds. the final score was 2-0 CSKA. It was crap."
ED has just done a bit of research and Varna actually looks pretty nice. Coastal location on the Black Sea, scorching hot summers, some nice buildings. Might need an natural disaster or two before Younes Kaboul would consider it though.
Today - What football players or clubs remind you of movie characters?