Sir Alex Ferguson was on the brink of becoming Tottenham manager before his Manchester United appointment, according to a revealing new book.
The legendary Scot took over at Old Trafford in November 1986 and went on to become the club’s most successful ever manager after guiding them to 38 honours over a 27-year spell.
However, it could all have been so different, according to a new book, ‘White Hart Lane – The Spurs Glory Years’.
In the book, which is being serialised by The Sun, author Martin Lipton explains how former Tottenham chairman Irving Scholar had negotiated every fine detail of the contract to take Ferguson to London, two years prior to the Scot’s appointment at Old Trafford.
However, Ferguson went back on the arrangement after having second thoughts.
“The truth was that I had been talking to and negotiating with Alex Ferguson about a deal,” Scholar revealed. “He and I had had very long and detailed discussions.
“I told him that I was a very old-fashioned type of chap and that the most important thing was that once you agree something, once you shake someone’s hand, it’s in concrete.
“Once you do that, then you do not — under any circumstances whatsoever — you do not go back on it. It’s over
“I told him that, when I first met him. So we had this big thing about the handshake.”
Irving then explained how Ferguson went back on his word following a meeting between the two in Paris.
“We’d built up to this for weeks. So we met. I said, ‘Are you ready?’ He replied, ‘I’m ready.’
“I said, ‘Are you sure you’re ready?’ He said, ‘I’m sure.’
“So we had this seminal moment of the handshake. As you know, unfortunately, he didn’t keep to it.
“He never told me why. I had my own theories but it doesn’t matter anymore.
“It was a disappointment. He stayed at Aberdeen for another two years.”