Former Tottenham Hotspur chairman Alan Sugar has suggested that the club should have made an example of star left-back Danny Rose after the player gave an ill-advised interview in which he appeared to criticise transfer policy and question ambitions earlier this year.
Lord Sugar, who owned a majority stake in Spurs between 1991 and 2001 and remained a minority shareholder until 2007, believes Spurs are now a 'big club' that cannot allow their players to be disrespectful in the way that Rose was.
It would appear that had he still been calling the shots, the billionaire businessman, now more famous for fronting 'The Apprentice', would have been happy to send Rose packing as a stern 'message' that no player is bigger than the club.
"If you go back to the great Sir Alex Ferguson, if he had a player like Danny Rose make a statement like he did in the media, he'd have been dead meat...gone!" Sugar commented while appearing on BBC's Premier League Show this week.
"And that's what I can't understand about the Tottenham hierarchy, really. Even though he's a good player, even though you might need him when he comes back from injury - putting all that to one side, sometimes your pride or your dignity needs to send a message to the others," he added.
Ex-Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas was sitting alongside Sugar and suggested that Tottenham are not in the same position as United under Ferguson, where they could afford to cast off players in the safe knowledge there was nowhere better to go.
70-year-old Sugar contested that, however, stating, "Not now, because we are a contender now. We came second last year and we're a big club now. We really are a big club.
"I think your dignity is worth more and it sends a message out: 'Don't mess with me'."