So that’s the secret of Sir Alex Fergusons lifetime success! “Making decisions is what I’ve always been good at. I can make quick decisions. I’ve been lucky that way. Some people can’t make a decision but in management you have to be able to make decisions” Can it be THAT simple? “When I see something happening I have to act” he insists! “I was a good decision maker as a young kid. That has always helped me. I think my trade union background also helped me. I was a shop steward at 19 years of age. I think that helped.”
“My Dad was a shop steward for a while. My mother was a shop steward for a while. So I had that sort of leaning towards being in control of situations and a will to make sure that you were going to win. You cannot get sentimental in this job” he explained “I love the players I’ve had. I’ve been very, very fortunate to have had great players. And I’ve been very fortunate to have had players come through with me for a long, long time.
At United we had Giggs, Neville and Scholes, even Phil Neville and Nicky Butt, guys who were the spirit of the club. They have remained part of what I see is Manchester United and all the players I’ve had here have played a part in that. My job is to manage United. My job is to produce results” he reminds anyone who cares to listen.
“I’m not any different from anybody else. I need results here. I’ll not be regarded here – and the club will not be regarded – in the same way if I was unsuccessful. And that’s why if I see something on the football field that I feel is a retrograde step for the club I have to act.
Ferguson admits to being driven by a desire to ensure that his legacy is one of unequivocal success, as such, he retains the same ruthlessness that has yielded nearly 50 trophies over 37 years of management to make him one of the greatest club bosses the world game has ever seen.
Sir Alex gave the example of Nicky Butt and Phil Neville “I had to release them because I was getting to the stage where I was terrified of talking to them. Telling them they were not playing a game and it wasn’t fair to them. They were good players who played a big part in the resurrection of the club, no doubt about that so when the time came for me to let them go, I knew it was cutting strings. Loyal strings. And I didn’t enjoy it.” Ferguson was quick to confess.