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The Boss: The Many Sides of Alex Ferguson (Hardcover)
Charismatic and charming, volcanic and ruthless, seemingly ambitious and astonishingly successful: Sir Alex Ferguson is all of these things and more, a complex character who has produced – first at Aberdeen and now at Manchester United – two of the most prolific trophy-grabbing machines in the modern game.
But what drives him? What has fuelled the desire to transform himself from a poor Glasgow childhood into one of the titans of the modern game? The Boss will be essential reading not just for Manchester United fans and all football followers, but anyone interested in the skills of successful management in general.
Ferguson’s own autobiography, Managing My Life, was a great bestseller on its publication in 1999. But Fergie’s book told the story through only one pair of eyes. Now, Michael Crick, acclaimed biographer of Jeffrey Archer, writes the first fully rounded, independent portrait of Sir Alex. From his roots as a Clydeside trade unionist to the current peaks of world football, Crick applies the same forensic skills he applied to his study of the disgraced Tory peer.
Through hundreds of interviews with those who’ve known and worked with Sir Alex, and delving back through the archives, Michael Crick explores the money and the politics of football, the bust-ups, the fights, and those memorable moments of glory. Charismatic and charming, volcanic and ruthless, searingly ambitious and astonishingly successful. What makes Sir Alex Ferguson tick? How did this complex character become the most successful manager in British football, producing — first at Aberdeen and now at Manchester United — two of the most prolific trophy-grabbing machines in the modern game?
The Boss is essential reading not just for Manchester United fans and football followers in general, but for anyone interested in the skills of successful management.
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Michael Crick (born 21 May 1958) is an English journalist, author and broadcaster.
Born in Northampton, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and New College, Oxford, where he got a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE). At Oxford he was editor of one of the student newspapers, Cherwell, founded the Oxford Handbook and the Oxbridge Careers Handbook, and was president of the Oxford Union.
He specialises in politics, and appeared as a regular reporter on BBC Two's Newsnight. In March 2007, he was appointed the programme's political editor.
In 2003, under heavy pressure from the preparation of the Hutton Report, it refused to show Crick's report for Newsnight into 'Betsygate', the alleged misuse of public funds by the private office of former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith and supposed payments to his wife Betsy for work she did not do. Crick referred the case to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Sir Philip Mawer and the Duncan Smiths were cleared of any impropriety.
In the 2005 general election, it was observed that the five most terrifying words in the political lexicon were "Michael Crick is in reception".
He has also reported for Channel 4 News and Panorama, and has appeared on Have I Got News For You. He is known as the unofficial biographer and nemesis of Jeffrey Archer. Margaret Crick, his estranged wife, published a biography of Archer's wife Mary in 2005.
A keen supporter of Manchester United, he has written several books on the team as well as his literary political works. In 1998-99 he was the organiser of the Shareholders United Against Murdoch campaign which successfully opposed BSkyB's proposed takeover of United. He later served as Vice-Chairman of Shareholders United.
He lives with his partner Lucy Hetherington and they have a baby girl called Isabel. He also has an older daughter from his previous marriage. On 24 February 2008, the News of the World newspaper reported that he had a six month affair with Jeanette Eccles a former BBC researcher. The paper ridiculed Crick for presenting himself as moral crusader, while his own behaviour had been unethical. He was also criticised for trying to prevent the publication of the story on the grounds of privacy, while he making a living from exposing the wrong doings of others.
Crick, a known Labour supporter, is known for his investigations of Conservative politicians and followed then Tory leader, Michael Howard around during the 2005 election campaign as part of his research for his biography of Howard, published the same year. Since then, Crick has investigated Conservative Party Chairman, Caroline Spelman for abuse of expenses.