Ferdinand reveals he was confronted by hooded fans


Rio Ferdinand has revealed he was confronted by a gang of hooded fans during his contract talks with the club eight years ago. The group calling themselves the “United boys” turned up outside the player’s house to demand that he signed a new deal.

The Manchester United defender’s future had been the subject of speculation at the time after he had been photographed with then Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon in a restaurant, but that had been a chance encounter. Ferdinand was asked to come to the door but could not see anyone on his security monitors.

The 34-year-old told Four Four Two magazine: “So I go to the side door and grab a big bit of wood, jump on the side of the wall and I’m just about to scream ‘raaaah!’ when I see there’s a massive group of people, with hoodies and caps covering their faces.

“Then one of them said, ‘We’re the United boys, fucking sign your contract’, and I was like, ‘What you talking about? I’ve only just started negotiating two months ago, what you worrying about?’”

Explaining the background, he added: “Basically I went to see my agent for half an hour and Kenyon was with him. Someone’s taken a picture and made out like we’re having a bloody meal together.”

Ferdinand, in a question and answer section with fans, also spoke of the lowest point of his career, when he was banned for eight months after failing to attend a drugs test in 2003. He said: “If that sort of thing can’t make you more responsible, then I don’t know what can.

Claw back

“People assume I must have had something to hide but I did all the tests that were asked in the end and the judge said I had proved beyond any doubt I had nothing in my system.”

Meanwhile, Vincent Kompany said there is no “panic” at Manchester City as they bid to claw back the seven-point deficit to Manchester United.

Last season City managed to win the title despite being eight points behind United with only six games remaining and Kompany said: “A couple of years ago had we fallen seven points behind we would all have said to ourselves that it would be very difficult. But now we have done it, nobody panics.

“Everything is still possible. We have proved what we can do and everybody is very calm. That’s the advantage you get when you win it once. You have that inner confidence.

“It is a big challenge but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. We have set our standards high and have worked hard for a long time to bring ourselves into this position. We are not going to let it slip now.”

Kompany believes this year it may take more than the 89 points with which City claimed the championship. He said: “It looks like it. The reason we are not closer to United is not that we have been playing badly. We have only lost two games, which is not a bad record at this stage of the season. But United are doing extremely well and, if they continue to play like they have been doing, it will be difficult. But we are capable of having a long, long winning streak that will bring us very close.”

City face an anxious wait to discover the severity of Sergio Aguero’s hamstring injury, with no prognosis expected until this afternoon at the earliest. The club’s medics are waiting for the swelling to go down.

Guardian Service

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