A “furious” Sir Alex Ferguson resigned as Manchester United manager a year before guiding the club to an historic Treble.
Ferguson steered United to glory in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in the 1998/99 season, but won nothing at the club a season prior as Arsenal claimed the Double.
That under-performance left both himself and then-chief executive Martin Edwards “dissatisfied”, with Ferguson offering his resignation following a misunderstanding of sorts.
“We hadn’t won anything and to be honest we were dissatisfied,” Edwards told the Daily Mail. “We wondered if Alex had taken his eye off the ball a little and if his celebrity status and interest in horses had maybe not helped.
“So we told him our feelings and Roland thought we should follow it up with a letter. He received it and came pretty much straight back in to see me. He was furious, saying: ‘If that’s what you think of me then get stuffed… I am resigning’. And off he went.
“I can’t say I was particularly concerned as I thought he would come back. Happily, I was right.
“He had obviously had a word with somebody. It could have been his solicitor who would have told him that if he resigned he wouldn’t be entitled to any money. But I don’t know, I am speculating.
“But there is no point in worrying. If you feel it’s the right thing to do — and I know it was — then you have to take the consequences. He was going to respond one way or the other and I would have been hugely unpopular had he walked. But the next year we won the treble so thank goodness he didn’t go!
“Alex was brilliant and hugely successful. There weren’t many blips.”