Sir Alex Ferguson made Man Utd youngster take cookery lessons before buying his own home
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A former Manchester United youth player has revealed he wasn't allowed to buy a property until he completed a three-month crash course in cooking lessons.
Daniel Nardiello, a former academy prospect who made his first-team breakthrough at Old Trafford in the early noughties, earned a senior contract at the Premier League club in 2001.
But around that time, the former Wales international was blocked from buying his own property by manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Scot, renowned for his no-nonsense management style, didn't want his youth players to rely on personal chefs or takeaways, so a crash course in cooking was put in place at Carrington.
Speaking to the Daily Star about his experience, Nardiello explained: "I had my first three years at United, I'd done quite well in the youth teams and reserve level and Sir Alex offered me a three-year contract, which I was obviously going to take.
"But with the new contract, and my time at the digs coming to an end, I wanted to buy my own property, my own house to live in.
"But youth players need to have permission, so I had to knock on [Ferguson's] door to ask if I can buy my own property.
"He was like 'No, I'm not letting you buy your own property unless you've had three months of cooking lessons with the chef at Carrington'."
The lessons had ramifications for the rest of the United squad, too,
"So for three months, a couple of times a week, I was out cooking all the food for the first team players. I was in a bit earlier than I would normally be to help the chef," he says.
"Once the three months were up, I knocked on the gaffer's door again and he allowed me to pursue buying a home and moving in to my own house. But it goes to show the level of detail he went into."
He may have tried his best to give Nardiello a head start in the cooking department, but Ferguson's decision failed to turn Nardiello into the next Jamie Oliver.
In fact, he rarely goes anywhere near the stove these days.
The former Barnsley, Exeter and Rotherham forward added: "I'm not a good cook now though, my wife doesn't want my cooking, it's once in a blue moon I cook, but it did give me a good grounding."
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Topics: Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Premier League