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Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 08/28/2012

Ferguson bans young Manchester United players from free Chevrolet sports-car perk


Manchester United Danny Welbeck has a sports car’s engine on the pitch, but he won’t be driving one on the highway. (Andrew Yates - AFP/Getty Images)
As part of its new multi-million-dollar sponsorship deal with Chevrolet, Manchester United’s players have been offered a free top-end car of their choice.

For many of the Red Devils, that could mean a bright right Corvette.

But not everyone on the squad will be allowed to take Chevy up on its offer.

Sir Alex Ferguson will only allow players above the age of 23 to accept a sports-car model from Chevrolet. Players below that age — which include 21-year-old striker Danny Welbeck and defenders Phil Jones (20), Rafael (22) and Chris Smalling (22) — must have their car selection approved by Ferguson before they can accept the gift, according to a Daily Mail report.

“The move is a classic case of Ferguson — the master man-manager — ensuring his young stars don’t get too big for their boots,” the Daily Mail’s Ian Ladyman wrote.


Sorry boys, but you cannot have a free Vette unless Sir Alex Ferguson says so. (Andrew Yates - AFP/Getty Images)
A United spokesman quoted in the report said, “As with most automotive partnerships, Chevrolet will be offering players a car. The model will be dependent on their time at the club and driving experience.”

Ferguson has used similar tactics in the past to keep his young stars humble, including banning youth club players from wearing colored cleats.

At 23, new Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa might fall under the age restriction, and understanding Ferguson’s rule could be difficult for a player still trying to learn English — and decipher his manager’s thick Scottish accent.

“I can’t tell a word he says!” Kagawa told the Daily Mail this week. “I am trying to learn English, but understanding the manager might take a little longer.”

At least the young guns can take solace in the fact that they haven’t been hit with the “Dez Rules” — a set of strict restrictions the Dallas Cowboys drew up to keep troubled 23-year-old wide receiver Dez Bryant in line this season.

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By  |  10:50 AM ET, 08/28/2012

 
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