Manchester United's most successful manager of all time, standing next to some old Scottish bloke (Reuters)
Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant Mike Phelan claims that HE was in fact the real Manchester United boss.
Phelan, who has been out of work since Fergie headed into retirement at the end of last season, believes that it was actually him in charge for the last five years of the Scot's reign.
The 51-year-old reveals that Ferguson, despite having the title of 'gaffa' and picking up all the plaudits, delegated so much of the management that it was Phelan who was really in control.
"With the way things have gone, my first thoughts are to be the boss, yeah. It’s the progression for me now," Phelan told the Daily Mail. "That's what I've been doing for the last five years, albeit with the title of assistant boss.
"He (Ferguson) was the head of the establishment, there's no doubt about it and rightly so. He didn't get to where he's got through not being a big decision maker, but he'll be the first to admit that a lot of people played their part in that.
"We all were undercover in that respect. We weren't the face of what was going on, but that was our job," he added. "You were decision making so I'm more than capable of handling that.
"It’s a case now that if the opportunity comes up to be a boss then I’ll have a look at it.
"They don’t know me as a person and what I’ve done and what I’ve delivered. I’ve no relationship that way because it’s been purely 20 years of Manchester United.
"I don’t know if that’s a hindrance or an obstacle or what but anybody who wants to have a look at me they can do."
The quotes will likely come as a big surprise to many fans, not to mention the players and even Fergie himself.
But still, this is a man looking for a new job, so maybe Phelan should be allowed his say.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sir Alex Ferguson
- Mike Phelan
- Manchester United