If the world didn’t already know that Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson was not a man to mess with at the workplace, then he confirmed it once and for all during his appearance at Trinity College's Philosophical Society on Wednesday night.
"Control is very, very important because if I lost control of all these multi-millionaires in my dressing room -- I'm dead . . . So if anyone steps out of my control -- they're dead," said one of the most successful managers in the history of football.
They don't call his legendary tongue lashings the hairdryer treatment for nothing!
Just ask David Beckham, the poster boy who fell afoul of the red-faced Scot when he married Posh Spice and took to the celebrity lifestyle the Ferguson abhors.
The two fell out, Fergie threw a boot at Beckham in the dressing room and he was soon off to Real Madrid.
Same story with Jaap Stam when he dissed the Neville brothers in his autobiography , and same story for Ruud Van Nistelrooy when he picked on wonder boy Cristiano Ronaldo.
All three were shipped out of the club fairly lively.
"The most important person in Manchester United is the manager," Ferguson is quoted in the Irish Independent as telling the students in Dublin.
With the state of Man United's finances – the club’s American owner Malcolm Glazer has leveraged an incredible amount of debt on the club (read John Fay's take on that here), Ferguson might think he is the most important man at the club, but the reality today is that the club’s chief accountant could be the man with the most influence on the future of the club, both on and off the field.
Did Ferguson get the $113 odd million transfer money from Ronaldo's sale to Real Madrid to finance the acquisition of new players? No he did not, it went to paying off the interest on the the club's debt.
Maybe Fergie needs to give the Glazers of the accountants a bit of the hairdryer treatment to re-establish himself as the most important man at the club.
USS Michael Murphy, named after Irish American Navy SEAL hero, heading toward Korea