Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ryan Giggs : Imogen Thomas Scandal hangs over Man United

The Ryan Giggs imbroglio consumed England for the second straight day Wednesday, casting a long shadow over the upcoming Champions League final — the biggest match in European club soccer — against Barcelona (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, FOX) and having a profound impact on British politics.

Giggs, one of the most popular and successful players in British history, is alleged to have consorted with a reality TV show contestant named Imogen Thomas. In and of itself, this would merely make for sordid tabloid fare and an awkward conversation around the married Mr. Giggs's dining room table. What made this story explosive is that Giggs apparently sought a controversial gagging order, called a "super-injunction," to prevent newspapers from reporting this. Monday, he saw that order shattered by a Member of Parliament.

The case has riveted the chattering classes and led to some ugly scenes in Manchester on Tuesday night. Journalists were attacked by masked men outside Giggs’ home, with some cars being damaged in the process. At Carrington, a frosty Sir Alex Ferguson attempted to ban The Associated Press' Rob Harris, who had asked a straight-forward question about the midfielder in an open press conference.

Sky Sports cameras and microphones caught Ferguson asking press secretary Karen Shotbolt who the questioner was and then saying, “Aye, then we’ll get him. Ban him on Friday.” Several journalists who attempted to ask Giggs’ teammates about the affair also had their interviews abruptly terminated.

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