Anyone wishing to comment on this site about the remarks made in the House of Commons by John Hemming MP should be aware that they may do so under the rules of qualified privilege. If in doubt, look it up. 


If the identity of the adulterer Ryan Giggs has been given QP by Hemmings and it would also be observed that the "cat" is well and truly "out of the bag" why are journos being censored on a journalism website. It stinks!

Your original post did not qualify for qualified privilege, Jason. Journalists can report that John Hemming MP named Mr Giggs in the House of Commons yesterday as the Premier League footballer allegedly involved in an affair etc. By doing so our reports are covered by qualified privilege. We cannot simply assert that we know that Giggs is the footballer. I removed your post in order to draw your attention to the formula that is being used by every professional reporter from the BBC to the Sun.  The injunction is still in force. I'm delighted that you now understand how we can put the name into the public realm. These details are vital.    

The reporter's question & then Ferguson's reaction caught by a microphone here.

Sir Alex may be one of the greatest managers of all time, but when it comes to the press he is very, very set in his ways.

He believes the club has the power to ban the press. Sadly for him, his personal vendetta against the BBC is not the same as an obligated pre-final press conference. I believe UEFA hold that particular decision, as this story highlights.

It was also interesting to view his stance on Twitter.


Ferguson is very frosty towards journalists for a multitude of reasons - some warranted, some not. His vendetta with the BBC is not borne simply from a documentary querying his son's business dealings as an agent, but hearing Radio 5 Live presenters wax how Southampton beating United 6-3 had "made their weekend" back in 1996, as well as the station's chief commentator Alan Green being occasionally partial against United.

But his bid to ban the APs Rob Harris from a Uefa-organised press conference was a classic distraction that underlines his ingenious man-management. With all the focus on Ryan Giggs, his image and his philanthropy, Ferguson switched attention on to him and the media took the bait without a second thought. Sometimes his attempts to divert attention are obvious and unsuccessful, but on Monday he was in control and aware of Uefa regulations, so he knew what he was doing.

On other occasions though, his media blackouts and banning of journalists is puerile and unnecessary, whereby he makes a rod for his own back whenever there's a torrent of bad press against him or the club, or both. Daniel Taylor was banned for writing a book about him despite informing the club of his intentions, and this was despite the book's title lauding Ferguson as a 'genius'.

In regards to his views on Twitter, it is understandable he is against his players using it. One of the club's recent Youth Cup winners, the prodigiously talented Ravel Morrison, has already been fined £600 for criminal damage and was cited for witness intimidation before his eighteenth birthday. When he joined Twitter, it was a disaster-in-waiting, and he expressed publicly how 'sh*t' it was at the end of season awards dinner. Ferguson attempts to mould players in the guise of Paul Scholes and Giggs (sic) so although he is fighting a losing battle he is putting up a good fight. Some footballers on there enjoy the opportunity to communicate with supporters, yet the abuse that is aired in certain tweets will provoke a reaction, and it was unsurprising that ex-boxer Wayne Rooney offered to "put someone to sleep" recently.

For what it's worth though, Twitter is a seminal website that is great for budding journalists who wish to interact with others and build up a following, but for a football manager it is problematic because candour can be twisted to whatever angle is deemed appropriate.

Qualified privilege