Manchester United’s legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson has opened up about his infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment, insisting that he never ruled by fear during his time at Old Trafford.


Manchester United enjoyed a period of sustained success during Sir Alex Ferguson’s 27-year reign at the club. The Red Devils won a whopping 38 trophies during that period, including a record 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League titles. However, the great Scot has denied that it was down to fear and the now infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment.

Former players have often spoken about the fabled ‘hairdryer’, with Wayne Rooney writing in his book that there was “nothing worse” than being at the receiving end of Sir Alex’s verbal volleys. Speaking at the World Business Forum in Milan (h/t the Sun), though, the former Manchester United boss claimed that he only used the feared treatment six times in 27 years.

He said: “There was a lot of myth about it. It happened about half a dozen times in 27 years and the players will tell you that. The problem for me was if a player answered me back, I headed towards them. That was my problem.”

He went on to add that he never used fear as a way of driving in success to the club, saying that he always wanted his players to enjoy playing for the club.

Manchester United's Scottish manager Alex Ferguson (R) shouts at assistant referee Jake Collin (L) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England on December 26, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Sir Alex Ferguson created a fearsome reputation for himself for dishing out the infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment to his players. (Photo credit – Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images)

“I never ruled by fear,” Ferguson added. “Name a Manchester United team that played with fear. My job was to get a positive attitude into that team, for them to express themselves, never give in and enjoy playing for the club. That is sacrosanct.”

Manchester United have been largely stuck in the doldrums ever since Sir Alex retired at the end of the 2012-13 Premier League title-winning season. In the three campaigns post his retirement, the club have finished in a disappointing seventh, fourth and fifth positions, and managed to win just the solitary FA Cup under Dutch manager Louis van Gaal.

The Red Devils currently lie sixth in the Premier League table after eleven games under new boss Jose Mourinho —  a manager whom Sir Alex has deeply admired for many years. They next face Arsenal at Old Trafford in a huge game on 19th November, keen to continue the winning momentum after beating Swansea City 3-1 last week.

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