Ferguson and Magnier reach settlement

Alex Ferguson has confirmed he has reached "an amicable settlement" with John Magnier over the breeding rights to the racehorse…

Alex Ferguson has confirmed he has reached "an amicable settlement" with John Magnier over the breeding rights to the racehorse Rock Of Gibraltar.

The Manchester United boss is believed to have agreed to a peace deal that will net him around £2.5million Sterling to avert a courtroom battle with the club's biggest shareholder.

Ferguson told The Sunday Times: "We have all decided to move on, it's over now. This has been a tough time for the families of all those involved and I am just looking forward to getting back to normal life.

"While we were working this out, I spoke personally with John Magnier, and that helped. And I am glad that it has been an amicable settlement.


"Both parties had to compromise to get it settled, and I am satisfied. I believe I have dealt with everything that has happened. How do I do that? You don't read the papers, don't socialise with players and keep your own counsel."

While the settlement with Magnier ended weeks of speculation about Ferguson's position, United's victory over Fulham in the FA Cup yesterday lifted spirits following a poor run that has left them nine points behind Arsenal and very unlikely to retain the Premiership title.

Two goals by Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy were enough to beat Fulham at the third attempt this season, setting United up for Tuesday's home Champions League match against Porto, which they go into trailing 2-1 from the first leg.

"I think the players are looking forward to the Porto game now," Ferguson said. "Hopefully, this is the time of the season when they galvanise themselves.

"Our attacking play was very good against Fulham, there was a good shape and determination to our game and we could have scored more goals."

Ferguson will also benefit from the support of his new number two, Walter Smith, the former Rangers and Everton manager, while the biggest cheer against Fulham came when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer entered the fray as a late substitute for his first appearance since undergoing knee surgery in September.

The Norwegian scored United's winning goal in their dramatic 1999 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich and, despite his team's ongoing defensive frailty, the return of the talismanic striker completed a good weekend for Ferguson.