Manchester United: Does 'Fergie Time' actually exist?

Manchester United opinion: The long-standing joke has been around for years, but is there substance to the claims?

Richard Cantillon
Published 04/30/2013 16:08 by Richard Cantillon, read by 7,225 people.

Manchester United's rivals have accused the club of using a device called 'Fergie Time' to help them win/draw important games which they are losing or drawing by adding extra time.

This is acclaimed to be down to their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, getting the referee to add on extra time waiting for United to score. It is also known that when the referees do not satisfy Ferguson, he makes his thoughts known by means of a very large complaint, such as the one where he said referee's should not keep time because there was not enough injury time in their 3-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this season.

This again goes with the idea of 'Fergie Time' with extra time being needed for United to win. Without this, United might not be as successful as they are today.

Lets stop with the prosecuting of Ferguson, and look at the hard facts. On average when United are winning a game there is 209 seconds of added time. However, in games where United are drawing or losing there is an average of 350 seconds added time. This is an extra 141 seconds, or two minutes 21 seconds - a huge amount of time, which probably shouldn't be there.

Lets also look at some examples where 'Fergie Time' was used. The first of which happened in the Manchester derby when United were 1-0 down. The assistant announced there was to be five minutes of added time, and the final whistle hadn’t come when the clock ticked to 96 minutes. There was barely three minutes of added time to be accounted for in the entire game, so it begs the question, was 'Fergie Time' used to help United?

The second example is in both FA Cup games between United and Chelsea this season. Specifically the second game (Round six replay), United were 1-0 down to Chelsea, and the added time was announced with no surprise, four minutes (down to a goal, substitutions and diving from the likes of Nani). After four minutes the game did not stop. It carried on for an extra minute unannounced, 'Fergie Time' in play to help United, but they couldn't break through Chelsea's defence.

The evidence speaks for itself, 'Fergie Time' is in play, and that decision has not come from a rival fan but someone who has looked at the evidence and made a judgement.

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