Sir Alex Ferguson’s attempt to have a reporter banned from a Champions League press conference is unlikely to succeed.
Yesterday the Manchester United manager was recorded by a Sky News mic telling a press officer to ban Rob Harris of the Associated Press after he had asked an innocuous question about the Red Devils’ scandal-hit winger Ryan Giggs.
But Lou Ferrara, AP's managing editor of sport, retorted: “Rob Harris was doing his job as a journalist by asking a question.
“Our expectation is that he'll ask more questions — and be afforded the ability to do so as he covers the world's most popular sport.”
And a United spokesman admitted last night: “I don't think we can ban him.”
Ferguson is, of course, no stranger to clashing with reporters at Old Trafford, but his latest spat happened at a Uefa sanctioned media event.
And the United boss is required by Uefa regulations to give a pre-final media conferences on Friday — the one he wants Harris banned from.
Giggs was named in the House of Commons on Monday as the footballer alleged to have had an extra-marital affair with the model, Imogen Thomas.
His ‘outing’ in the run-up to Saturday night’s Champions League final with Barcelona has infuriated Ferguson, but now the veteran manager appears to have inadvertently exacerbated the tension within the United camp.