• Premier League

Retirement for young people - Fergie

ESPNsoccernet staff
January 27, 2012
Sir Alex Ferguson: 'If I get off the treadmill, where do you think I am going? Down there. Trust me' © PA Photos

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he has no plans to retire, and he insists that the moment when a manager becomes anything less than the most important person at the club, it will die.

Ferguson has overseen 25 years of success at Old Trafford, but the Scot admits that he has had to change as he grows older.

"I have certainly mellowed," he said in an interview with the Sky Sports Magazine. "There's no question about that. It's a more fragile human being that I am dealing with today than 25 years ago. They are cocooned by modern ideas, modern parents, modern agents, and they are cocooned by their own image at times.

"It's a different world for me, so I have to change myself to adapt to that. I have changed because of these things. One thing I've learned in the last decade is delegation. In the early days, I was involved with scouting, coaching, youth everything. You can't do that for a long period of time."

Ferguson has watched the game develop over the years with footballers earning more than ever before, but he still believes that the manager must be regarded as top dog.

"You have to remember that the most important person at Manchester United is the manager," he said. "The minute a footballer becomes more important than the manager, your club is dead. The history of the club goes down the drain. I am the most important man at Manchester United. It has to be that way."

The 70-year-old added that he had no plans to quit yet, as he fears what would happen if he stopped. "Retirement is for young people, not older people," he said. "Young people can do something else. When you're older and you've been on that treadmill for [the] length of time I've been on it ... if I get off the treadmill, where do you think I am going? Down there. Trust me. When you get older, don't retire."

Ferguson also maintained that he had a "great relationship" with the unpopular Glazer family, whose takeover and running of the club has seen protests by many fans.

"They never bother me," he said. "They never ask questions, they never phone me and they never interfere with my job. I am in a privileged position."

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