Former Tottenham Hotspur chairman Irving Scholar has claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson backtracked on a “concrete” agreement to manage the club before taking over at Manchester United.
Ferguson was targeted by Tottenham in 1984 following the departure of Keith Burkinshaw, despite Burkinshaw winning two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup in the previous three campaigns.
Scholar claims that Sir Alex Ferguson had caught his eye after guiding Aberdeen to three successive Scottish Cup triumphs, as well as success in the 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup, but a deal was later reneged on.
“The truth was that I had been talking to and negotiating with Alex Ferguson about a deal,” The Sun quotes him as saying. “He and I had had very long and detailed discussions. I told him that I was a very old-fashioned type of chap and that the most important thing was that once you agree something, once you shake someone’s hand, it’s concrete.
“Once you do that, then you do not – under any circumstances whatsoever – you do not go back on it. It’s over. I told him that, when I first met him. So we had this big thing about the handshake. We went on and on and on, discussions, negotiations, down to the minutiae of the contract.
“Everything was agreed. So I said ‘Can we meet?’, he agreed and I said I’d like him to meet someone else on the board, Paul Bobroff. We arranged to meet in Paris on a Sunday morning, just by the airport. “The idea was this was the moment, the seminal moment of the handshake.
“We’d built up to this for weeks. So we met. I said, ‘Are you ready?’. He replied, ‘I’m ready’. I said, ‘Are you sure you’re ready?’. He said, ‘I’m sure’. So we had this seminal moment of the handshake. As you know, unfortunately, he didn’t keep to it. He never told me why. I had my own theories but it doesn’t matter anymore. It was a disappointment. He stayed at Aberdeen for another two years.”