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'Ferguson will retire next year' - Whelan

‘The older you get the harder it is to cope with all that pressure,’ says the Wigan chairman.

WIGAN CHAIRMAN, AND all round talkative auld fella, Dave Whelan says that Alex Ferguson will retire in 12 months time.

Ferguson, 70, has been in charge of Manchester United since 1986 and has been the central tenet to their remarkable run of success over the past two decades.

Whelan, a former Manchester United player and friend of Ferguson’s, told ESPN:

“After next season, Sir Alex will call it a day. The pressure is telling, especially when you are at the top for so long.

“The older you get the harder it is to cope with all that pressure, and eventually it will affect you.

“Sir Alex is resilient and I know he will want to carry on until he drops, and I respect what he has achieved as everyone does.”

The 75-year-old Wigan chairman alluded that a slight health problem last week – when he was taken to a Glasgow hospital with a nosebleed which would not stop – would force the Scot’s hand.

“I am sure his intention was to carry on for two or three, maybe even more years, but he has had a little scare in the last week or so and that tells me he will think very hard, and realise there is no point trying to carry on for another five years and take the risk.”

Ferguson previously announced his intentions to retire after the 2001/2 season, but reneged. Before his birthday in December he announced his intention to remain in charge for three years.

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