Rio feared Fergie axe after meeting with Kenyon

September 19, 2006

Rio Ferdinand feared being sold by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson after his chance meeting with Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon last year.

Ferdinand, 27, was pictured with Kenyon at a restaurant, sparking suggestions he could move to Stamford Bridge.

The England international, who served an eight-month ban for missing a drug test while at United, was called to see Ferguson where the centre-back insisted he wanted to stay at United.

'I feared the worst when the picture was in the papers and decided that I would go and see the manager when I arrived for training and explain,' Ferdinand said in his book `Rio My Story', which is being serialised in The Sun.

'I didn't need to. He called me in first thing and went absolutely bananas. He said `what the hell's going on?'

'He hammered me and quite rightly. I got the treatment. I'd never seen him so angry; it was far worse than when I missed the drugs test. Much worse.

'I couldn't say a lot because I was in the wrong. I just said again `boss, I don't want to sign for nobody. I want to sign for Man United. I told you at the beginning I want to sign for United'.

'For a moment I was worried he was going to say, I'm going to sell you.

'The meeting went on for 15 minutes and he was going: `You know how people will interpret it. It doesn't matter what you said.

'It doesn't matter if you were talking about the price of milk, the time of day or the colour of the table you were sitting at. It's just so stupid of you to go there and meet Kenyon'.'

Meanwhile, Ferdinand has revealed how one of his team-mates suffered racist abuse from another player while at West Ham.

He added: 'If I name the player who came out with the most racist abuse I've ever heard on a football field, no-one would believe it. I guarantee you'd be astonished.

'Legally I couldn't reveal the bloke's identity because I couldn't prove anything in a court of law, but I heard it loud and clear. It involved a black player in our side up against a very well-known opponent.

'I'm thinking, `Am I hearing this right? I can't be hearing this right'.

'But it went on throughout the game and our player told me the defender did the same to him every time they played in order to intimidate him.

'He even admitted that sometimes it worked, which made it all the more depressing.'