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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Ferguson: I rejected England twice

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to manage the English national side on two occasions during his Manchester United reign.

Sir Alex Ferguson had the opportunity to replace Glenn Hoddle as England manager.
Sir Alex Ferguson had the opportunity to replace Glenn Hoddle as England manager.

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Ferguson, who managed his native Scotland at the 1986 World Cup, said he had first been offered the position in 1999, when Glenn Hoddle was dismissed as a result of a controversial interview, and then again the following year, when Kevin Keegan handed in his resignation.

However, he insists in ‘My Autobiography’ that he never considered walking away from Old Trafford.

He said: "I was offered the England job on two occasions. Adam Crozier, chief executive of the FA from 2000 to 2002, came to see me before [Sven Goran] Eriksson was appointed in 2001. The first time was before that, when Martin Edwards was chairman around the time Kevin Keegan took the reins in 1999.

"There was no way I could contemplate taking the England job. Can you imagine me doing that? A Scotsman? It wasn't a bed of nails I was ever tempted to lie on."

Speaking to journalists in promotion of the book on Tuesday, Ferguson said there was "no way in a million years" he would have led England.

"It was a great opportunity to relegate England," Ferguson joked. "No way would I have taken that job. [Former FA chief executive] Adam Crozier was the first one to come and see me. It took me about ten seconds to say: 'No way'. I couldn't manage England in a million years. Think of me going back to Scotland doing that. Dearie me."

Ferguson also said that he had no interest in coming out of retirement to take charge of an international team.

Asked about the vacant Australia job, he replied: "I would definitely not. I've said that many times. Once I left United that was me finished in terms of management and I've seen over the last few weeks, certain positions in football, some had me at 80-1 to become a manager. That would be a good price. But, no, I wouldn’t be interested in any job."


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