Sir Alex Ferguson`s ill-founded and autocratic comment that Rio Ferdinand would be "dealt with" because of his refusal to wear the `Kick it out` tee-short on Saturday has serious long-term implications for Ferdinand. Whilst it seems that Ferguson has overstepped his authority on this occasion and the club have no legal grounds to punish Ferdinand, there is no doubt that history will tell us that Ferguson will not tolerate anybody usurping his authority.
You only have to cast your mind back to Jaap Stam to realise that Ferguson is an unremitting despot where his authority and standing are concerned, and anyone attempting to cause this to be questioned will be quickly dispatched.
What has complicated matters is that Ferdinand has on this occasion got the support of the majority of other managers. People like Mark Hughes at QPR have actually spoken to their players ahead of the weekend’s matches to find out their stance on the matter and supported whatever they decide. Unfortunately, discussion does not form part of Fergusons modus operandi. Consequently, Ferguson has incurred the wrath of various players` bodies, like the PFA, who have roundly criticised Fergusons comments as unhelpful and not valid. Furthermore, the PFA would support Ferdinand in any case he brought against the club if they try to fine him.
All of this will almost certainly mean that Ferdinand has lost any chance of an extension to his contract, which will expire next summer.
It may also, force Ferguson to deal with a growing problem at the back, with Evra`s form declining alarmingly and Vidic seemingly having perpetual knee problems at the age of 31.686343