that it’s not just what happens on the first-team pitch that is crucial to the success of Manchester United. Those are the sort of things we’ll be looking at. Clearly he has to have the requisite football experience, both in terms of domestic and European experience, so I think it’s a small pool but we’ll move forward.
Will Sir Alex have a say on his successor?
Very much so. I think we need his views. No-one knows what managing Manchester United is about better than him. Quite rightly, the owners and the board will take his counsel and take the counsel of Sir Bobby Charlton and really understand it. They want to use all the expertise within the club in order to get the right person to take it forward.
And the manager is staying on at the club...
He’s going to be a director on the football club board and also an ambassador. He’ll be there and I think it will be a great asset to the club in terms of him being there. One of the things you can say about Sir Alex Ferguson is he will know when to involve himself and when he shouldn’t be involved. I think everybody can rest assured the new manager will, quite rightly, get the necessary space and opportunity to do his job without interference. Alex won’t make that mistake, of that we can be certain.
What is his legacy? Is it more than trophies?
Obviously, a football club is judged on honours, and managers and players are judged on honours. Without doubt, what he has achieved is phenomenal. His legacy is building up the club and retaining [the family atmosphere] in a sport, football, that’s grown immeasurably over the last couple of decades. He’s retained a family atmosphere and understood Manchester United’s role within sport and within football. You hear stories in other media outlets about how he gives advice and comfort to other managers who have been fired and all those sort of things in his role within the football world. He does it well and also does it within our club as well to