How do you follow Sir Alex Ferguson? He’s an icon...
He is. He's a phenomenon, the like of which we’ll never see again, in terms of what he’s done for the club. I don’t know what it was like in 1986 as I wasn’t around but I have seen the major changes that have happened since I joined in 1997 and what he’s achieved. But you don’t follow it, like what we said in the statement, Alex and I tried to say that we knew this day would come. One day he would decide enough is enough, he'd say: "I’ve achieved it and I want to retire and do some other things in my life". Basically, we’ve been preparing for that in terms of the ability within the squad, the contract situation within the squad and the age of the squad. But also off the field, we’ve been making sure we’re at the forefront of things. We’ve just announced a big new expanded facility at Carrington. We’ve got to look forward now and any new manager coming in will inherit a great squad and a great infrastructure off the pitch with great staff around him. I think the new person is walking into a difficult situation maybe in terms of the number of trophies but will also have the support of the Manchester United family and the squad to take that forward. It’s a dream job, I think.
What is the timeframe on a replacement?
I’m not going to get into speculation on that because if we then put a deadline on it and that deadline passes... [people will jump to conclusions] but we will move relatively quickly. I’m not going to define how quickly that is.
What sort of manager are you looking for?
The qualities are the ones that have been inherent within Manchester United for many years. If you look at what has happened with the two most successful eras – Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex – they are managers who got involved in the whole aspect of the club, whether it be from the youth team up to the first team. [He'll need] all aspects of it and that degree of loyalty and the understanding of the football club –