Ferguson fury over Manchester derby fixture clash

February 10, 2008

The Premier League insist they would have considered any request from Manchester United to reschedule this afternoon's Manchester derby.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is furious the game is being played in the week of the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

'When I saw what the fixture was at this time at the beginning of the season I said 'who the hell chose that?' the Scot said in the Daily Express.

'There was no opportunity given to change it.'

But Premier League spokesman Dan Johnson said: 'We weren't approached by either club to move the fixture.

'The fixture list goes round at the beginning of the season before it's made public.

'Every club has the opportunity to comment on the fixtures.

'If they feel either one is insensitively placed or one is impracticably placed, they have the opportunity to ask for it to be moved.'

The Red Devils have been honouring the eight players who died alongside 15 other passengers - including former Manchester City goalkeeper Frank Swift - all week, with today's clash at Old Trafford today set to cap off the memorials.

There will be a minute's silence - which City officials including manager Sven-Goran Eriksson have appealed for visiting fans to respect - and both teams will play in traditional, unsponsored jerseys to honour the occasion.

But Ferguson, aware of concerns that a small minority of the City crowd will not respect the silence, admits his initial reaction when he was presented with the fixture list was an angry one.

He added: 'It puts pressure on the clubs. We could easily have had Middlesbrough at home or something like that.'