In the words of the Tottenham chairman, Ferguson's comments, announcing he had made an offer for the Bulgarian, were "a blatant example of sheer arrogance and interference with one of our players".
He said: ''It is also unbelievably hypocritical given his recent comments in respect of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid.""Levy is learning two lessons about football.
Their manager Juande Ramos' comments that they would not let their principal forward go cheaply was a way of acknowledging the inevitability of Berbatov's going while promising they would screw Manchester United for every last penny.They have let it be known that a fee of £28 million would secure his services - good money for a man with perhaps no more than three more seasons at the top.There would have been many among the 50,000 at Newlands watching them labour to a 1-1 draw with Kaizer Chiefs who might have wondered if Manchester United did require more of a cutting edge.Framed by the vast bulk of Table Mountain, Newlands, where Manchester United opened their tour of South Africa, is perhaps the most spectacularly beautiful of all sports grounds.But the champions of Europe and England found themselves hemmed in by something altogether more forbidding.
Tapping-up - the practice of asking a player if he fancies a move to a club before officially approaching his employers - is as rife in football as it is in life.
Tottenham, Manchester United and Real Madrid have all been guilty of it in the past. And yet few attempts to sign a player can have sparked the response that Sir Alex Ferguson's pursuit of Dimitar Berbatov brought from Daniel Levy.
The other lesson Levy might like to learn is that quotes attributed to managers, even with Ferguson's global fame, are to be treated with caution.
What infuriated Levy was the Manchester United manager's comment, reported in one tabloid as he departed for Cape Town, that "we have made Tottenham an offer on Berbatov and we have good expectations this deal will go through".
Ferguson did indeed confirm Manchester United had made a bid for one player and it is a fair guess that he was referring to Berbatov but at no time in his five-minute conversation at Manchester Airport did he mention the striker or Spurs by name.
And, in any case, Tottenham had been preparing their supporters for the deal.