This article titled “Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson to retire ‘in two or three years'” was written by Andy Hunter, for The Guardian on Monday 20th February 2012 20.00 UTC
Sir Alex Ferguson has lauded David Moyes’s work at Everton and claimed Manchester United will need an experienced head to replace him as manager when retirement comes in “another two or three years”.
The priority for the 70-year-old United manager is to retire on a “winning note” rather than a specific date. He has already shelved one retirement plan a decade ago and subsequently added five more Premier League titles and a Champions League triumph to his honours collection in that time.
In an interview with BBC’s Five Liveon Monday night, Ferguson said he expects to remain in a role at Old Trafford when he finally steps aside but has never discussed the issue of his successor with the chief executive, David Gill, and the United board. He claimed his wife, Cathy, would rather he take a job as a milkman than get in her way at home.
“I will remain active,” Ferguson said. “I think there will be a role at United after I finish, obviously. I don’t know how long it’s going to last now, but if my health holds up I don’t see another two or three years would harm me. I think you need stamina in my job and I think I’ve been blessed with good stamina. I’ll know when it’s time when I’m not enjoying it. I think if I got to a point where I’m not enjoying it, I would definitely get out. I think you always want to go out on a winning note and hopefully we can do that.”
He added: “Players ask how long I’ll be around. They all do that or their agent asks the chief executive, David Gill. That becomes more difficult the longer it goes on, of course. I answer it the way David answers it and he says I have no intention of retiring at the moment, therefore it’s not a question we can answer because we don’t know.”
As for who could eventually succeed him at Old Trafford, Ferguson said: “We need to go down that road with United. They will need someone with experience,” and claimed that even he would struggle if taking the job in 2012 “because of the beast it [the club] is.”
He elaborated: ” “We’ve never discussed it. It’s a dangerous game. At this moment, there are maybe half a dozen managers doing well in the Premier League. Only half a dozen because all the rest of them are fighting for their lives. Some are doing great jobs with the resources they have and David Moyes has been unbelievable. I put him in the top six because what he’s done at Everton has been quite miraculous.”
The United manager revealed he passed up an opportunity to sign the Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart at a bargain price, a deal that would have saved his clubs millions and solved the troubled search for a long-term replacement for Edwin van der Sar.
He admitted: “I could have bought Joe Hart for £100,000, so we all make mistakes. If you look at the goalkeeping situation in England for the last 20 years, then I think he’s easily the best they’ve had.”
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