'The Buckley, MU story has been twisted'


KickOff.com has uncovered more details about Delron Buckley's venture to take kids from South Africa to be trained by Manchester United's Class of 92.

Buckley told this website earlier this week that he has secured outside funding to send local youngsters to the Class of 92's facilities in Manchester.

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The former South Africa international said the agreement is to send local kids for trials, training and coaching sessions conducted by various United legends – Nicky Butt, Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

However, Class of 92 public relations manager Di Law, who is the former United press officer and daughter of club legend Denis Law, says nothing has reached her desk yet regarding official arrangements or bookings for the services of the Red Devils legends.

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"There is no tie-up with CO92. We offer soccer schools for five days with an appearance from one of them [United legends]. I organise the CO92 appearances and this one has not come to me yet," Law tells KickOff.com.

"So there is no partnership in place [yet]. It seems to me that he [Buckley] is looking to pay to bring them over. However, it appears at this stage that it is not a venture or partnership with CO92, but rather a commercial deal."

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The United legends own English League Two side Salford City along with David Beckham and Peter Lim. They also run coaching courses through University Academy 92 (UA92) and own Hotel Football situated opposite Old Trafford.

We then contacted Buckley's agent Mohamed Riyaad to get to the bottom of Buckley's statements and he reaffirmed what Law said, and gave his explanation of what transpired.

Riyaad clarified that Buckley has not been in contact with anybody from the Class of 92, but rather the agent himself has arranged a deal with the CEO and shareholders of Hotel Football, as well as other partners of the CO92 group.

He also stated that he was still to get in touch with Law regarding the Class of 92 being unaware of any partnership.

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"I'll tell you what happened. When we went to watch United play, opposite the stadium at Hotel Football I met Michael Clegg [United's strength and conditioning coach] and we started chatting and became good friends. He introduced me to the Class of 92," Riyaad said.

"I was the one who made the interactions with everybody including Tony Wright, the CEO of Hotel Football, and that's how we got this whole thing together.

"They are doing things for kids around the world between six and 16. They are trained by the legends where they do a whole portfolio of exactly what European football is all about, give them a one-week tour of the whole facility and they give them the whole rundown, the Man Utd culture, the stadium tour.

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"Delron now went out publicly and said 'we did this and did that' but it was done through me. Everything that's there is 110 percent it's just that whatever has been said, the story has been twisted a little bit.

"We've been chatting about it all the time. Our first group was supposed to be going now but it's been postponed. We actually kept it very quiet. We didn't want to make a big story about it until we sent kids over there."

Riyaad added that the idea is to take South African youngsters over to Manchester, have them trained and schooled at their facilities, and play friendlies against other big clubs with the view to getting scouted.