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Volume 10 No. 24
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U.K. TV Networks Battle To Recruit Former ManU Manager Alex Ferguson

ITV has "signed up footballing 'brainbox' Clarke Carlisle to be part of their team at next summer’s World Cup in Brazil" -- but "the big prize for the station and their BBC rivals remains the recruitment" of former ManU Manager Alex Ferguson, according to Joe Bernstein of the London DAILY MAIL. Carlisle "is the first ITV signing for the World Cup beyond their regular team of Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate and Andy Townsend." The role of Ferguson "is going to prove fascinating following his Manchester United retirement." The 71-year-old "has so far declined all media requests, including Sky Sports, who were keen to land the first major 'post-retirement' piece." With Ferguson "recovering from hip surgery, there is a feeling he may want to stay out of the limelight before resurfacing at the World Cup." ITV is "planning to send only their commentary teams to Brazil, with pre-match and half-time punditry coming from England" (DAILY MAIL, 8/3).