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Sir Alex Ferguson ‘agreed’ to join Spurs TWO YEARS before joining Man United 

The legendary manager reneged on a "concrete" agreement to join Spurs two years before his 27-year spell in charge of United

It’s hard to imagine Sir Alex Ferguson in the hotseat of any other Premier League club except Manchester United. 

The legendary manager won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League trophies during his time at Old Trafford, cementing his name in history as one of the greatest gaffers of all-time.

They even named a stand after him.

He did alright, didn’t he?

Mark Robinson - The Sun
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He did alright, didn’t he?

But according to former Tottenham chairman Irving Scholar, the Scot very nearly joined his club TWO YEARS before he moved to United.

In a new book being serialised in The Sun titled White Hart Lane – The Spurs Glory Years, Irving claims Fergie shook hands on a “concrete” agreement to replace Keith Burkinshaw at White Hart Lane in 1984.

Scholar firmly believed he had recruited the Scot

Rob Rathbone
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Scholar firmly believed he had recruited the Scot

At the time, Ferguson was considered one of the game’s up-and-comers, having led Aberdeen to the league title, three Scottish Cup’s and the European Cup Winners’ Cup – beating the mighty Real Madrid in the final.


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Irving said: “The truth was that I had been talking to and negotiating with Alex Ferguson about a deal.

“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.”

Fergie won the European Cup Winners’ Cup with Aberdeen

Getty - Contributor
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Fergie won the European Cup Winners’ Cup with Aberdeen

It seems the handshake meant more to Irving than Ferguson, as discussions broke down.

Irving continued: “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.


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“I said, ‘Are you ready?’ and 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.”

Sir Alex Ferguson went on to become one of English footballs greatest managers

PA:Press Association
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Sir Alex Ferguson went on to become one of English football’s greatest managers

Fergie stayed on at Aberdeen for two more years, winning a further league title before heading to United in 1986.

And you know the rest, clearly. 

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