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Man Utd stars reportedly fined $2M

  • Story Highlights
  • Manchester United players reportedly fined $2M following Christmas party
  • Manager Alex Ferguson warns he will sell any player who steps out of line
  • Ferguson says that life at Old Trafford is based on everyone being together
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LONDON, England -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has reportedly fined his players a total of one million pounds ($1.98m) after their pre-Christmas party ended in sordid front-page headlines.

Disciplinarian Ferguson has left his players in no doubt about who is in charge at Manchester United.

Old Trafford chief Ferguson also reminded his superstars that he will not hesitate to sell any player who believes he is bigger than the Premier League club.

Ferguson has taken a hard line with players throughout his career and his latest comments come after the December 17 players' party ended in allegations of rape.

"Football has changed but you cannot lose your control. That is why we make changes here at Manchester United when we see anyone interfering with this sense of control," the Press Association reports him as saying.

"When we see this, then it's time for them to go because this club is based on everyone being together.

"When we start going off at tangents you have to assess it - definitely."

Ferguson has also expanded on his dislike of the celebrity lifestyle now enjoyed by many high-profile players.

He added: "What annoys me about some players today is this personal glory thing.

"They score a goal and then knock players out of the road so they can have their own private, personal gratification and praise from the fans. It's ugly seeing these kind of celebrations.

"These present-day footballers need to be noticed, with their earrings and tattoos. They no longer go to the small Italian restaurants but to the big and bright places."

Sunday's News of the World says that Ferguson has punished every player who attended the party -- with fines on a sliding scale according to earnings -- and also made it clear it will be the last such event.

The head of England's Professional Footballers' Association also issued a warning to the game's highly-paid stars.

"Players are big personalities now and they're expected to do all they can on and off the field to be real role models," PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor told the newspaper.

"The majority realise how fortunate they are and the debt they owe -- but we need to remind them all.

"These are young men, many of whom have a lot of money, and there is always going to be dangers and temptation. But they've got to learn how to cope." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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