David Moyes has opened up on how Sir Alex Ferguson essentially forced the Manchester United job upon him back in 2013.
Ferguson decided to call time on an illustrious managerial career after nearly 27 years in charge at Old Trafford, but kept his choice a secret until the latter stages of the 2012/13 season.
One day after Ferguson announced his retirement in May 2013, then-Everton boss Moyes was announced as his successor on a six-year contract.
However, he would last less than a season with the Red Devils before being sacked due to poor results.
Speaking on the Diary of a CEO podcast, Moyes talked at length about the incredibly quick process of becoming United manager.
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When asked if rumours of Ferguson coming to his house regarding the job were true, Moyes replied: “No, he took me to his house!
“It wasn’t long after I turned 50, my wife had bought me a watch and we had actually gone through to Manchester to the jewellers. I needed to get a link taken out. It was actually in Altrincham of all places and the phone rang, and it was Sir Alex.
“I said ‘oh, bloody hell, it’s Alex on the phone’, and I thought ‘oh he’s going to want one of my players or me to take one of his players’.
“He said, ‘where are you?’, I said I was in Manchester, he said ‘come out to the house when you’re ready, will you?’. I said to my wife, ‘I can’t do it, I’m in my jeans’, I couldn’t go to Sir Alex with a pair of jeans on, there’s no way!
“So I’m like, ‘what am I going to do? Do I go down to Marks & Spencer’s and buy a pair of trousers before I go to Sir Alex?’. She’s saying just to get on with it. So I dropped my wife off at the shopping centre and drove out to Sir Alex’s house.
“I went in, he says ‘in you come’. Nice house, he’s got a lovely sort of sports room up the stairs, he says ‘you want a cup of tea?’ and I said yeah. And he said ‘I’m retiring, and you’re the next manager of Manchester United’.
“No interview, no telling me, not saying ‘would you like to be?’, [only] ‘I’m retiring’, and I nearly slipped down because obviously nobody knew Sir Alex was retiring. Nobody even suggested or thought about it. And I nearly slipped down when I heard him say that.
“And I sort of said, ‘yeah, okay’. I wasn’t going to turn down, or I didn’t think I was going to say no or could even know I was in a position to say no. That was as simple as that.
“We got underway. And to be fair there was only four weeks to go until the end of the season, maybe five weeks. I was coming out of contract at Everton, I really wanted to be respectful to them. And actually, my next game was against Liverpool. I knew if we had got a draw with Liverpool, we would probably finish above them in the league. It was at Anfield and we did get a draw. We did finish above them. So it didn’t have any effect on Everton.
“I met Ed Woodward the next day, and then I met the Glazers. So it was three days I dropped back to [Sir Alex’s] house.
“The biggest problem I had was he said ‘you can’t tell anybody about me retiring, nobody knows, tell your wife but nobody else’. So I can’t tell my kids, I couldn’t tell my dad that I was going to get the job.
“When I look back now, to get that offer from arguably the greatest manager maybe there ever was was a great compliment. But maybe if I really looked into it in more detail and more depth…I was desperate to be successful as a manager. I had 11 years at Everton where, I wouldn’t say we’d hit the glass ceiling, but found it difficult to break into the top four, the competition and money that was required.
“But my biggest regret was I was so close to Bill Kenwright, the owner at Everton, and I couldn’t tell him. It felt really bad that I couldn’t tell him. I was so close to Bill, but I couldn’t break my word with Alex. I couldn’t tell anybody but my wife.
“So I jumped back in the car, drove back to the shopping mall, got the wife, put her in the car, and said ‘I’m the new manager of Man United’. And she said ‘piss off, you’re talking rubbish’!”
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