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Ferguson tops Times Power list

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson has led Manchester United to 10 Premier League titles

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been named the most influential man in British sport.

The Scot topped the Times newspaper's Power 100 list ahead of London 2012 chairman Lord Sebastian Coe and Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour.

Ferguson, 67, took over at Old Trafford in 1986 and has won more trophies than any other manager in British football.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky TV chief executive, was fourth and Dave Brailsford, British Cycling performance director, fifth.

Explaining why Ferguson came out on top the Times commented: "He has been shaping our sporting lives for decades, to the extent that he is atop our summit, and the hard part is not establishing where his power starts but where it ends.

"Ferguson's leverage goes way beyond a Godfatherly presence among his peers. If the modern Premier League is a global phenomenon and it is the most watched and wealthy sporting franchise on the planet then Ferguson is its founding father.

"It was he who built the modern megaclub that is Manchester United, the giant flagship of the Premier League enterprise."

Before being appointed Manchester United manager, the Scot was in charge of Aberdeen where he won the Scottish League title on three occasions and also has success in Europe, winning the Uefa Cup Winners' Cup and Uefa Super Cup.

United are currently World, European and Premier League champions and Ferguson continues to look to add to his haul of 10 Premier League, five FA Cup, two Champions League and two League Cup titles.

Coe won 1500m gold at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics and was instrumental in bringing the Olympic Games to London in 2012.

The 52-year-old also set a number of world records and is a former MP, chairman of Fifa's ethics committee and vice-president of the IAAF, the world governing body of athletics.

The Times said: "He will be remembered as one of British sport's greatest statesmen."

Putting Sheikh Mansour at number three on the list, the newspaper said the impact of his riches "has been seismic" and that "there is every chance he will top this list next year if he achieves his goal of transforming City."

The oil-rich Sheikh, a member of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, bought City in summer for about 200m and is reportedly worth about 15bn.

The Eastlands club have already flexed their newfound financial muscle with a bid of 100m for AC Milan star Kaka, only to be rejected by the Brazilian, but did the seal the signing of Robinho from Real Madrid in September for 32.5m.

Billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich was sixth in the list, England and on-loan AC Milan midfielder David Beckham seventh and England manager Fabio Capello eighth.

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see also
City slickers or laughing stock?
21 Jan 09 |  Man City
Man City move for Kaka collapses
20 Jan 09 |  Man City
Reaction to Kaka bid
16 Jan 09 |  Man City
Man City owner top of rich list
07 Jan 09 |  Football
Brown wants Sir Alex for 2012 job
19 Dec 08 |  Politics
Capello admits 2012 Olympic dream
12 Nov 08 |  Football
Coe hopes to follow Beijing lead
16 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport
Man City beat Chelsea to Robinho
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Cycling boss targeted by rivals
24 Aug 08 |  Cycling

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