Sir Alex Ferguson will be offered a beefed-up role at Old Trafford by Malcolm Glazer as part of the American tycoon’s attempt to reverse fans’ hostile reaction to his takeover plans.
Glazer and his advisers are understood to have been shocked by the level of opposition from groups such as Shareholders United to their ambition to buy Manchester United. They have identified Ferguson as the only figure at Old Trafford with the power to calm emotions and lead a charm offensive.
‘It is definitely the case that the Glazers have a huge regard for Ferguson and they want him to continue as manager and they want him to remain totally involved with the club and be part of its continuing success,â€ said one City source.
It is not known whether this will extend to Ferguson being offered a seat on the board. However, Glazer hopes to persuade the manager to back what is being described as a ‘new modelâ€ of club ownership. Details are still unclear but its centrepiece is likely to be a type of extended and formal involvement for fans.
Ferguson’s influence over supporters was shown when he persuaded them to abandon protests at racecourses earlier this year against JP McManus and John Magnier, when the manager was in conflict with the club’s biggest shareholders over racehorse Rock of Gibraltar. —