Manchester United’s fury at a Newcastle approach for Sir Alex Ferguson to replace Kevin Keegan has emerged.
Newcastle could be about to make a move for a top manager following the takeover by Saudi-backed consortium last week.
The Public Investment Fund – fronted by Amanda Staveley – completed their takeover of the club from Mike Ashley.
That move could usher in a period of success for the Mapies, the likes of which they have not experienced since the 90s under Keegan.
The club were frequently challenging for titles in that period and were renowned for their attacking style of football.
Keegan resigned in early 1997, saying: “It was my decision and my decision alone to resign.
“I feel I have taken the club as far as I can, and that it would be in the best interests of all concerned if I resigned now.
“I wish the club and everyone concerned with it all the best for the future.”
“Kevin was a hard act to follow, but Alex Ferguson would have done nicely. He was the best in the business,” Hall told Express.
“We needed someone to keep up the momentum when Kevin left in 1997 and the lads felt they had a chance of snatching Alex from Manchester United, where he had already turned the club around to win plenty of trophies.
“Our former chairman Freddy Shepherd, who has since sadly passed away, revealed what happened a few years after our failed Ferguson coup.
“He told me, ‘Martin Edwards, the Manchester United chairman, had obviously got wind of what was going on.
“He rang me and asked if I had got anything to tell him – like Alex Ferguson? I was on a boat at the time and I almost fell off it’.”
“It would have been great if we had pulled it off and he came to manage Newcastle United, but we didn’t do too badly. We managed to get Kenny Dalglish instead.”