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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Oct 20, 2013

Ferguson admits retirement doubts

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he feared he was "leaving the club in the lurch" when he retired as Manchester United manager.

Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography is the subject of fevered anticipation in the footballing world.
Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography is the subject of fevered anticipation in the footballing world.

Okwonga: Moyes' momentum

After 27 years in charge, Ferguson brought the curtain down on his time at Old Trafford by leading United to their 20th league title last season.

Though he was able to keep his intention to retire secret from the public until an announcement at the beginning of May, Ferguson informed then chief executive David Gill of his plans three months earlier.

However Gill then told Ferguson he too was planning to leave his post at United, with Ferguson admitting in an interview with MUTV that he then found himself questioning his decision.

"I had a meeting with David Gill in my house," Ferguson said. "He phoned me one lunchtime and said 'are you busy' -- it was a Sunday -- he said: 'I’d like to come over and speak to you.'

"He came over to talk to me about him retiring himself. I says: 'Christ, I’ve made up my mind to retire myself at the end of the season.' That gave me a terrible quandary because you start thinking about leaving the club in the lurch.

"I said: 'I’ll need to speak to Mr Glazer, to Joel.' And he organised for Joel to give me a call and I explained to him why I wanted to retire and why it was the right reasons and he accepted that.

"That was at the end of February. So that period was difficult. I was trying to keep it quiet and couldn’t tell some members of my family."

And with his second autobiography to be released on Tuesday, Ferguson says it would have been "difficult to ignore" the controversial issues from his reign at Old Trafford.

An account of the deterioration of his relationship with Wayne Rooney towards the end of last season is believed to be included, which could cause problems for Ferguson’s successor David Moyes, who fought hard to keep the striker at the club this summer.

"You know the problem with doing a book is you have to bring in the ­elements and factors which in many ways either affected or determined your management decision-making," Ferguson said.

"But because I’ve been at the club such a long time and you’re building team after team after team, there are areas that you can’t ignore.

"Why we sold certain players like David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy. You can’t ignore these things because these guys were big, big figures in Manchester United’s career history." 

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