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Fever Pitch: The Rise of the Premier League: Episode 4 (S1EP4 BBC Two Mon 27 Sep 2021)



Having won four out of five titles since the start of the Premier League, Manchester United and Alex Ferguson seem unstoppable. In London, Arsenal have barely had a look-in, but vice chairman David Dein has been busy plotting.

He introduces an unknown, bespectacled Frenchman to a waiting press at Highbury, and announces that he is Arsenal’s new manager. Arsène Wenger looks more like a history teacher than a football manager; the players have never heard of him. Yet Wenger is about to have a huge impact, not just on the Premier League but on English football, by introducing modern coaching techniques and lifestyle and dietary improvements.

The first thing he does is put a stop to the drinking culture: the players’ Tuesday Club is consigned to history. He also brings in exciting foreign players from Europe – Patrick Vieira, Marc Overmars, Nicolas Anelka – to play alongside Arsenal stalwarts like captain Tony Adams. On the pitch, Arsenal are turbo-charged and it’s not long before Alex Ferguson feels the imminent threat, a new rival intent on destroying the legacy he’s building at Manchester United.

It’s clear Ferguson is rattled by the new interloper, and the rivalry and tension between the two men is replicated by the players when the two sides meet. It marks the beginning of a 10-year chapter in the Premier league which became known as The Feud.

But off the pitch Manchester United’s supporters have another battle on their hands – this time in the boardroom. Sky’s Rupert Murdoch announces an audacious £623m bid to buy the club which has been accepted by the shareholders. Large swathes of United’s fans are incensed and launch a desperate a rear-guard action to try to fight the sale of their beloved Manchester United.

Airdate: Mon 27 Sep 2021 at 21:00 on BBC Two

Season 1 Episode 4

Series charting the creation and evolution of the English Premier League from 1992 to 2000.