Sir Alex Ferguson blasts 'the whole bloody lot of them' for the hire-and-fire culture in the Premier League

Manchester United are unique in their patience and loyalty to staff claims the outgoing manager

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The Independent Football

Retiring Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lashed out at the hire-and-fire culture of the club's Barclays Premier League rivals.

While Ferguson has been in charge at Old Trafford for over 26 years, he has watched as a huge number of adversaries have come and go.

Just this week Manchester City sacked Roberto Mancini - a year to the day since he beat Ferguson to the title - while Chelsea will be looking for yet another manager this summer.

Ferguson, speaking from the stage at the Red Devils' end-of-season awards ceremony last night, left the gathering in no doubt about his views on the short-termism that has crept into the English game.

"It's an unusual club Manchester United, it really is," he said on MUTV.

"If you look at the behaviour of some clubs sacking managers left, right and centre...and I'm not naming any one club - it's the whole bloody lot of them.

"We as a club have patience, show trust, show loyalty and it's rewarded."

Ferguson also believes that loyalty works its way down to the playing staff, so many of whom have enjoyed lengthy careers under the Scot.

"There's no club in the world who can keep players the length of time we've kept the likes of Giggsy, Scholesy, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville. For years and years," he said.

"In my time there's been, I think, 10 testimonials. No club can do that.

"Players stay at Manchester United. They love staying at Manchester United.

"They ingrain themselves in the whole bloody place."

One player who may not be in it for the long haul is Wayne Rooney, who has had a transfer request turned down.

Ferguson did not reference that issue directly, but quipped: "It's been a pleasure and a privilege to manage this mob for such a long time. It's given me some heartaches, by the way, but that's for my next book."

One of Ferguson's last major signings, Robin van Persie, was the big winner at the club's awards ceremony.

The Dutchman, who joined from Arsenal in the summer, won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the year trophy as well as seeing his sensational volley against Aston Villa named goal of the season.

Van Persie was denied a hat-trick of gongs as midfielder Michael Carrick claimed the Players' Player of the Year award.

Van Persie, who was also City's top transfer target last year, admitted his maiden season as a United player has exceeded his wildest dreams.

"I have to be fair, it is beyond expectations," he said.

"It has made such an impact from day one to be involved with the other guys, to be able to work with Sir Alex and the other staff. More than a pleasure.

"The fans have been incredible from day one. It's been an honour."

Van Persie also tipped his cap to Rooney, who supplied the exquisite pass from which his goal of the season came.

"Without that pass the goal never existed," Van Persie added. "The pass itself is even more beautiful than the goal."

Carrick was clearly overjoyed to be honoured by his team-mates.

Accepting his award, he said: "It means an awful lot.

"We've got an unbelievable team spirit with players from all over the world who make a real effort to fit in.

"For them to give me this means an awful lot. It really is special."