Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was compelled to make a statement ahead of this week's share float of United shares in the USA. It has been suggested in some quarters that Ferguson stands to profit from the controversial initial public offering (IPO), which the Glazer family are now saying will only partly go against United's massive debts.
A clearly angered Ferguson hit back, saying: “There is not a single grain of truth in this allegation.
“This is an accusation that insults me.”
Ferguson said he felt the need to address the issue to prevent a schism developing between him and the United fans.
A clause within the prospectus for the IPO, which the Glazer's signalled an official intention to launch in New York on Monday evening, suggests senior management figures will receive shares.
Almost immediately, some of those opposed to the Glazer family's ownership of United wondered whether Ferguson was amongst them.
“Being aware of the media coverage that is currently ongoing I felt, on this occasion, that I should make my position clear to the Manchester United fans,” said Ferguson in a statement.
“In regards to suggestions that I have praised the Glazer family because I stand to financially benefit from the proposed IPO, there is not a single grain of truth in this allegation. I do not receive any payments, directly or indirectly, from the IPO.”
Ferguson's recent praise of the Glazer family raised eyebrows in some quarters.
“Ultimately, I run the football side of this club and to do this you need backing from above,” he said.
“The Glazer family have let me get on with my job, there is no interference or obstruction, only support.”
The most successful British manager of all time, Ferguson indicated that he could have left United for more money if cash had been his prime motivation.
“My decisions and beliefs are not based around what is best for my personal financial gain,” he said. “That is an accusation that insults me. If that was the case I’d have left the club a long time ago.”
Ferguson was at pains not to point the finger at the Manchester United Supporters Trust directly, but they have continually questioned the Galzier's motives and only last week called for fans to boycott United sponsors in protest over the IPO.