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BBC to give up Ferguson boycott battle

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© Rex Features

The BBC appears to have given up on its battle to persuade Sir Alex Ferguson to end his boycott on giving post-match interviews to the corporation.

The Manchester United manager is facing escalating fines from the Premier League under new rules forcing all league managers to speak with broadcasting rights holders

However, Ferguson appears to have no intention of ending his boycott and United are prepared to pay any fines, which could amount to more than £60,000 for the season.

Speaking yesterday on BBC Radio 5 Live, the station's controller Adrian Van Klaveren said that he could not see Ferguson changing his position, which dates back to a 2004 Panorama documentary on his son Jason's dealings as a football agent.

Van Klaveren also revealed that any approaches made by the BBC to persuade Ferguson to change his mind have always gone through intermediaries.

"I have made sure that efforts are taking place [to persuade Ferguson] through people who know him," he said.

"Those have been going on in recent months in order to persuade him [and] it would be good to share his thoughts with our listeners.

"We know how many of our listeners really care about Manchester United. [But] he has made his decision and is standing by it. It's very hard to make somebody do something when there are a certain level of sanctions. I recognise the position [the Premier League] are in."

Next month, the Premier League board will discuss the opening level of fines to be levied against Ferguson, who has an estimated personal fortune of £22 million.

Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker recently expressed his belief that "the amount of the fine" will be crucial in potentially changing Ferguson's mind.

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