Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson would always be speaking to his BOOKIE during training sessions, reveals Rio Ferdinand

MANCHESTER UNITED legend Rio Ferdinand has revealed that legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson would spend more time on the phone to his bookie than talking to anyone else.

Ferguson – who managed United to 38 trophies in 27 years – never took training sessions, Ferdinand revealed.


The former United boss hired a variety of capable coaches who would takes the training sessions.

Ferguson was more of an observer on the sidelines.

Speaking on his podcast Rio Ferdinand Presents Five, Ferdinand said: "Fergie never took sessions.

"He obviously did the talking and setting up of the sessions with the coaches before we went out and trained and then he'd just stand on the sidelines and observe the individuals, team, situations, the mood, the pace and intensity of training."

And when asked if Ferguson gave any input on the training sessions, Ferdinand revealed that the legendary manager was busy discussing with his bookie which race horse he was going to back.

Ferdinand continued: "He's speaking to his bookie about which horse he's backing. That's the person he has most conversation with.

"Every now and again before the session he'd gather us in, maybe ahead of a big game at the weekend or after a result and say, 'listen guys that game is out of your system now, I want a hard session'.

"So he wouldn't be talking too much about the detail."

He's speaking to his bookie about which horse he's backing. That's the person he has most conversation with.

Ferguson has always held an interest in horse racing and to this day co-owns Protektorat and Monmiral – both galloped to victory at Aintree in April -with Ged Mason, John Hales and Lisa Hales.

Fellow Man Utd legend and former team-mate of Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, backed up his claims about the Scot not taking training sessions.

But insisted his old boss was busy running the club.

Speaking to BeIN Sports’ The Champions Club back in 2020, Giggs said: "He set the tone, he would give the coaches the instructions what we need to work on this week, but not once did he take a session, it was all down to the coaches.

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"He would take the meeting a lot of the time on the opposition, but actually Steve McClaren, Bryan Kidd, Renee Meulensteen, Carlos Queiroz, Mike Phelan, they would be the ones who were implementing them tactics on the training ground. 

"They would set up the training sessions to implement what we want to do on that Saturday and the manager would just oversee it.

"He was more or less running the club, so rather than just an hour’s training, he would be there every time, but it would be the coaches implementing it."

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