Timing has always been a big thing in Sir Alex Ferguson’s life. First of all the timing of the games, and secondly when to step down at Manchester United.
Ferguson’s timing was impeccable. A Premier League Championship in the bag last year, and with a team that was not that good, it was just those competing with United did not perform. With a cashed-up Manchester City being steered by a new manager they were always going to be contenders. The return of ‘the chosen one,’ Jose Mourinho at Chelsea meant that they were always going to be challenging purely on the high of his return to Stamford Bridge. Arsenal recruited well and were always going to be there or thereabouts, but still looked tow players short of being title contenders, but were always good nuisance value. As much as he would have seen that, would he have predicted that both Liverpool teams would be in the top six? Liverpool, United’s arch rival looking like the team to take the title; that would hurt.
Many have criticised the outgoing Moyes, and United have not played well this season, but the fall was to be expected. Sadly so too was Moyes short term tenure. Every Manchester United fan will point to Frank O’Farrell who replaced the great Sir Matt Busby and how short his time in charge was. If you look Arsenal after the successful George Graham era Bruce Rioch only lasted a year at Highbury. At Chelsea when Mourinho left after finally bringing the club, Avram Grant lasted just a year. It takes time for a club to adjust after a period of success to the ways of a new manager. Which makes one wonder why anyone steps into the firing line.
Sir Alex however despite what many fans feel was a poor choice in terms of a replacement, is still however very much in demand. Apparently BT Sport are looking for big names to boost their broadcast team and having just paid GBP897million for the Champions League and Europa League coverage from 2015/16 for three years, and they see him as the ideal man to pull in viewers. An approach has been made via his son Jason who acts as his agent.
Those in the know say that it is very unlikely he will take up the offer. As if he was to share his insights on television he may well lose his appeal as a guest speaker, an avenue that is bringing him rewards that may well be far greater than those on offer at BT Sport. The 72 year old is already earning a reported GBP100,000 a time on the after dinner and lecture circuit. A fee that is four times higher than the next biggest earner in this field, Lord Coe.
Timing though is Sir Alex’s forte, no doubt if he has tired of the after dinner circuit, or feels his appeal and profile are on the wane, he will revitalise interest in some other way.