Alex Ferguson backs David Gill for Uefa executive committee role

Manchester United chief executive will stand down in the summer

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United's loss will be UEFA's gain following David Gill's decision to stand down as chief executive.

Gill will leave his post after 16 years in the summer, although he will retain a position on the United board.

The move has been prompted by a desire to seek a place on the influential UEFA executive committee, with concerns being raised about Gill's ability to combine that role with his status as the administrative leader of one of the world's biggest clubs.

Ferguson has admitted the move is a blow, and one he tried to talk Gill out of.

But he has no doubt the 55-year-old will be a success should he get elected to the UEFA position he craves.

"He spoke to me about it some weeks ago," said Ferguson.

"I was surprised because he is still a young man.

"But I can understand exactly where he is coming from. Sixteen years at United in that particular position is not easy.

"He will do fantastic with UEFA and he will contribute greatly to the game in general."

Though Gill will remain in the shadows, his decision creates an element of uncertainty at Old Trafford.

Ed Woodward, who has overseen the massive progress made by the Red Devils' commercial department, will take over many of Gill's responsibilities.

It is, however, envisaged Woodward will remain based at the club's London offices, with current commercial director Richard Arnold becoming the most senior figure at Old Trafford.

The situation has been likened to that encountered at Arsenal following the exit of David Dein, whose departure was viewed by many as the start of that club's decline.

Yet Ferguson does not view the situation in the same way.

"There is a good stability here. That must help," he said.

"The foundations David has laid down from his side of it are easy to carry on from.

"There is a template there for us to follow.

"The job is to support the manager and the staff to maintain the success they have. I don't think that should change that much."

Woodward has been attending Premier League meetings on United's behalf in an attempt to get his head round the intricate world of football politics.

And Ferguson believes the manner of the 40-year-old's promotion is another sign that the Glazer family remain wedded to the in-house philosophy that has proved so successful down the years.

"I have always worked well with David and he is going to be a loss," said Ferguson.

"But United are great at promoting from within and we have done it again with Ed Woodward stepping up.

"Remember, David came as the finance director and ended up as chief executive.

"From the football side, Mike Phelan came as reserve coach and ended up as my assistant. Rene Meulensteen came as a development coach and is now my first-team coach. Brian McClair came as a youth coach and is now director of the academy.

"We see quality and potential in a lot of our staff. That happens throughout the club. There shouldn't be a big problem."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Life and Style
tech
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
tvWebsite will allow you to watch all 522 shows on-demand
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor