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Fergie's windfall after Rooney's mega-money deal

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Former United boss Ferguson is promoting his latest book
Former United boss Ferguson is promoting his latest book

Alex Ferguson pulled off one of the great deals of his legendary career after Manchester United handed Wayne Rooney a mega-money contract in 2010 - as he ensured he got an even bigger pay rise than his star striker.

Ferguson was less than amused by the prospect of one of his players earning twice as much as he was collecting as United's most successful manager of all time and he did not hold back when the club's owners asked him for an opinion on the Rooney deal.

The end result was a huge pay-rise for the United manager and an agreement that he would always be the top earner at the club.

"When the Glazers and David Gill agreed to a big increase in Wayne Rooney's salary in 2010, they wanted to know how I felt,” writes Ferguson in his new book, which is entitled Leading.

“I did not think it fair that Rooney should earn twice what I made and Joel Glazer immediately said, 'I totally agree with you but what should we do?'

“It was simple. We just agreed that no player should be paid more than me. We agreed in less time than it takes to read the previous sentence."

Speaking at the launch of his book in London, Ferguson also insisted the idea that United did not conduct an extensive process to find his replacement is wide of the mark.

David Moyes was ushered in as Fergie's successor in the summer of 2013, but the outgoing icon insists he is satisfied all possible candidates were considered for the role.

“We chose Moyes because he was consistent in his job for 11 years at Everton and he showed a real appetite for it," stated Ferguson.

“When we appointed David Moyes there was universal praise: unfortunately, somehow it didn't work out for David – but it was the perfect process, we looked at all the alternatives.

“I’m sure there are things that David would do differently if he had the opportunity to relive his time at Old Trafford.

“Such as keeping Mick Phelan [Ferguson’s assistant], who would have been the invaluable guide to the many layers of the club that Ryan Giggs is to Louis van Gaal today.

“There is no point suddenly changing routines that players are comfortable with. It is counterproductive, saps morale and immediately provokes players to question the new man’s motives.

"A leader who arrives in a new setting, or inherits a big role, needs to curb the impulse to display his manhood.”

Meanwhile, Ferguson rejects claims that he left behind an ageing squad at United, even though critics claim the side he led to Premier League title glory lacked youthful exuberance.

"I've read some stuff about the condition of the United squad when I retired,” added Ferguson. “You would have thought that I had left 11 corpses on the steps of a funeral home.

“At the end of that season the average/median age of our squad was just under 26 - or about the same as it had been throughout the previous 25 years."