Sir Alex Ferguson’s wife, Cathy Ferguson, was the ultimate deciding factor in the legendary manager’s move to take over as Manchester United boss rather than take the Tottenham Hotspur job.
In a new book (via The Daily Mail) about Tottenham called Still Dreaming, the secret details of why Fergie turned down Tottenham before going on to start a great football dynasty at United are revealed.
It’s understood that Ferguson’s wife, Cathy, had no interest in moving to London, and so a switch from Aberdeen to North London for Fergie never materialized.
The Mail explains, “While it was known Fergie had shaken hands with Spurs chairman Irving Scholar and co-owner Paul Bobroff at a meeting in Paris to go to White Hart Lane from Aberdeen in 1984 before changing his mind, it has never been explained why.”
The book says, “The directors, to a man, were enthusiastic endorsers of the choice (Ferguson). All aspects of the contract agreed. Unfortunately, Mrs Ferguson was not keen on a move to London and that was that.”
Ferguson signed for United in 1986 and the rest is history.
At Old Trafford, the Scot went on to win multiple trophies including a record 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League titles.
He also led the Red Devils to winning five FA Cup trophies.
During his time in the United dugout, the club grew in size and estimation to become one of the biggest clubs in the world – a reputation they still hold to this day, a decade after Ferguson’s retirement despite dwindling success on the pitch.
The Mail points out that Martin Edwards, the United chairman who appointed Ferguson admitted much later that Tottenham nearly beat them to the 81-year-old’s services.
Edwards also conceded that United supporters were indebted to Cathy for the way events unfolded.
In a discussion captured in the book between Edwards and Scholar, Ferguson seemingly confirmed that Cathy played a role in his sudden change of heart.
“Martin refused to believe him (Scholar). When, out of curiosity, he tackled Ferguson about the story, Ferguson averted his gaze and didn’t reply. Edwards subsequently told Scholar: ‘Now I believe you and know you were telling the truth.’”