before it was announced and he wasn't too pleased! I got a bit of invective off him. It was difficult but the club knew in March. We sat down and discussed it and, of course, David [Gill] is retiring too and it gave me a problem as I didn't want to think we'd be leaving the club in the lurch you know.
Were you happy that it was largely kept out of the media?
The rumour started out didn't it? On Tuesday night, the rumour has gone out and it's hard to keep things intact at Old Trafford. It's a bit of a sieve at times and news seems to creep out from all different angles and sources. I've tried over the years to eliminate these leakages of news getting out. I always thought, over the last 10 years especially, a part of my job is to keep us out of the news, which is nigh on impossible. You have to accept we are news but there's a difference between good news and bad news. I always tried to keep the bad news away from the club and that's difficult in the modern day.
What qualities does David Moyes have as your replacement?
What I know of David is he's hard working and has an integrity about him. He's also got a work ethic about him and he's a serious football man. I think these are the qualities he's going to need. He's got a perseverance about him - look at what he's done at Everton. 11 years without any tremendous financial backing but he's persevered with it and created some decent teams in the last few years. They are the qualities he's going to need at our club. The one thing you have to do is definitely sacrifice and persevere - it's not always a golden path of riches. You have hard days and difficult days especially with the losses. We lost in the last seconds - for 10 seconds we were champions last year - but that's part of our history and we're used to that. Our supporters have suffered many things but also enjoyed many things. It's just part of our history.
You said here last year that the fightback would start from now..
Absolutely. There was nothing to be ashamed of last