Mathieson wrote in his column: "On one occasion, Ferguson revealed to me Chelsea had wanted him as their manager, soon after Roman Abramovich's takeover. I thought it was one of those off-the-record nuggets I would not be able to use. So I asked did he want that going public.
"He clearly wanted it out there, because he said I could use it, no problem. But it was on the understanding I did not reveal where it came from. I did have to use some quotes in the piece from him on his desire to stay at Old Trafford.
"The M.E.N splashed the story on the front page and I was pleased with my exclusive, and I assumed, as Fergie was happy for me to run it, so would he. When I rang next day, I asked in all innocence: 'Did you see the Chelsea piece?' 'Yes,' he barked back. 'And you made it pretty obvious where it came from too!' Bang, the phone went down."