Man Utd board ‘accepted Sir Alex Ferguson’s resignation’ on eve of treble season

Sir Alex Ferguson very nearly quit Manchester United in 1998 on the eve of their historic treble-winning season.

Following an uncharacteristic trophyless campaign – which saw United blow an 11 point lead at the top of the table to rivals Arsenal – Ferguson found himself under a bit of internal pressure.

According to The Times, the United board were concerned he had "taken his eye off the ball" by becoming a racehorse owner and accused him of "revelling" in his newfound celebrity status, prompting Ferguson to hand in his resignation in protest.

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It was then reluctantly accepted by United chairman Martin Edward, who received a furious phone call from the legendary Scot who insisted he had no other option but to quit the club.

"Well, if that’s the way you feel, Alex, we'll have to accept it," Edwards replied, hoping to call Ferguson's bluff. As it happened, Fergie withdrew his resignation a few hours later, though Edwards is convinced it was no bluff.

"I think what he'd done is spoken to his solicitor who'd probably said 'Well, you won't get a penny on the two years left on your contract'," Edwards explained. "So, he withdrew his resignation which I was happy to do."

Would Ferguson have been successful if he'd managed overseas? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

It was a wise decision. Ferguson went on to lead United to an historic treble 10 months later, becoming the first – and so far only – English team to win the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup in the same season.

Having pipped Arsenal to the league title by a single point, United dispatched Newcastle in the FA Cup final, before miraculously snatching victory from the jaws of defeat against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp in the European showpiece, courtesy of two late goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It was Ferguson's finest moment … and it very nearly didn't happen.


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