Saturday 17 March 2018

Fergie insists he must stay most powerful man at United

Mark Ogden

ALEX FERGUSON has claimed that Wayne Rooney's contract stand-off with Manchester United proved that the club will be "finished" if they ever allow players to become more important than the manager.

Ferguson also railed against the "beyond belief" temerity of agents, confessed to a reluctance for ruthlessness with long-serving players and admitted that Sven-Goran Eriksson had been approached by United to replace him as manager in 2002.

But having celebrated his 69th birthday last Friday, Ferguson insists his position at the club must remain all-powerful after overcoming Rooney's desire to leave Old Trafford in October.

"The most important thing you have to have managing at our club is that the most important person at Manchester United is the manager," Ferguson said while speaking on RTE Radio 1.

"The minute a player becomes more powerful than the manager of Manchester United, our club is finished. It will never be the same.

"You have to be strong and have the support of the board -- and I have always had that. The important thing is to have control.

"In the case of Wayne, there is no doubt that he took bad advice. We are having to deal with agents all the time nowadays and it's a hard job to deal with these people.

"They come in with an imagination that's beyond belief. I remember one agent wanted a striker to be paid for all of the goals that he scored. Another wanted us to buy blocks of flats for him!"

After aborting plans to retire in 2002, Ferguson insists all thoughts of retirement are now firmly off the agenda. "I'm 69 now, but you say to yourself, what happens when you retire? What do you do?" he said.

"That's why I have no plans. There are no plans for me to retire. I made a mistake some years ago because I thought my 60th birthday was a good time to retire. I changed my mind, but they (United) had already approached Sven-Goran Eriksson to take the job."

Irish Independent

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