Sir Alex Ferguson has moved quickly to end any speculation he could make a swift return to Manchester United, insisting his time as manager is over for good.
Ferguson’s replacement, David Moyes, has endured a testing start to life at Old Trafford, but United fans should give up hope of a dramatic U-turn on their former manager’s decision to retire.
The 71-year-old told American network PBS, per Adam Shergold of the Daily Mail:
United are in good hands with David Moyes. He will be fine. He's a good manager. ...
You would be throwing your money down the drain if you put any money on me coming back as a manager.
I made my decision. The timing was perfect. There is no way back for me now. I've got a new life.
Moyes’ short reign has already sparked fears for United that their era of dominance over English football is at an end.
They are currently 12th in the Premier League after six games, prompting concerns they may even struggle to qualify for Champions League football this season.
Following their worst start for 24 years, the sight of Ferguson in the stands draws natural speculation he might rescue the club if their decline continues, but the Scot says his passion for results has gone.
“I'm not interested in managing again or getting myself worked up about Manchester United's results,” Ferguson said, per Shergold’s article.
Ferguson won 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and several other major honours during his iconic era at United.
However, he revealed his reign could have ended 10 years ago when Roman Abramovich tried to install him as Chelsea manager:
“They used an agent to approach me when Abramovich first took over the club,” he said. “And I said 'no chance.'”
Ferguson’s decision to publicly rule out the possibility of his Manchester United comeback can only help Moyes, who is feeling the pressure at Old Trafford.
Such is the former manager’s hero status at the club, the call for his genius would only have grown louder with every setback suffered by Moyes.
Roy Hodgson suffered a similar fate at Liverpool, fighting an uphill battle against the club’s fans who desperately wanted Kenny Dalglish to return to the dugout—a scenario that eventually took place.
Moyes needs to establish authority at United, to whom he still currently refers as “they,” as shown in a Manchester Evening News article. He also speaks of the honour he feels at the “opportunity” he has been given, which indirectly promotes the message he feels lucky to be in charge.
Ferguson’s era is now over. The former manager knows that and has acknowledged it, but the new boss is yet to follow suit.