Date: 5th September 2007 at 7:11pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson believes he made a footballing mistake by selling Jaap Stam to Lazio in 2002.

One might say that who cares now, we have a great centre-back pairing? Conspiracy theorists might go as far as to say that had we kept Stam, we would have won something in 2001/02 thus Fergie could have retired in peace – so these aforementioned theorists might claim Fergie’s comments mean he’s grown tired of managing this club.

OK, I know it’s utter nonsense but sounds good, doesn’t it? Ferguson and his staff thought Stam would not regain top form following his injury – that’s the official version though they’ll never persuade anyone that he wasn’t sold because of his autobiography which had been, well, controversial, to put it mildly.

‘At the time he had just come back from an Achilles injury and we thought he had just lost a little bit,’ the Scot told an audience at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.

‘We got the offer from Lazio – £16.5million for a centre-back that was 29. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

‘But in playing terms it was a mistake. He is still playing for Ajax at a really good level.’


Well, it looked sheer stupidity to sell him after we had shipped in 45 league goals that season and crushed out of the Champions League semi-finals due to some terribly sloppy defending. Time eased the pains of it and I prefer to remember his performances during his three full seasons here. There’s a lot to remember, mind you!