SOCCER

Sir Alex Ferguson is BACK at Manchester United to help with all aspects of the club

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EXCLUSIVE: Sir Alex Ferguson is BACK at Man United! Richard Arnold gives the iconic boss and other legendary figures – including Bryan Robson – an official role in helping with all aspects of the club

  • Sir Alex Ferguson has been named in a think tank at Manchester United
  • He now has more influence at Old Trafford than at any time since retirement
  • Richard Arnold appointed the Scot to tap into his wealth of experience
  • The think tank also includes Bryan Robson, John Murtough and David Gill
  • The group will advise on a wide range of issues such as the redevelopment of Carrington

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Sir Alex Ferguson is back on board at Manchester United after club chief executive Richard Arnold turned to the legendary Old Trafford boss for advice.

Arnold set up a think tank involving Ferguson, former CEO David Gill, iconic United captain Bryan Robson and current director of football John Murtough so he could draw on their experience on all aspects of the club.

It will give Ferguson more influence at Old Trafford than at any time since he left as manager almost a decade ago.

Sir Alex Ferguson has now received the most influence at Old Trafford since retiring almost a decade ago

Tuesday’s lunch at Carrington – which coincided with Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the training ground for talks – is believed to be the first in a series of regular meetings involving the five men.

Although Ferguson and Gill have remained on United’s football board as non-executive directors since leaving their jobs in 2013, it was seen as a largely symbolic gesture, the former United chief executive , Ed Woodward, having chosen to do things his own way.

sports mail revealed in November that Ferguson would be happy to have more information on United after being consulted a few times by then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Now 80 and having recovered from a fatal brain haemorrhage in 2018, the Scot can no longer play an active role at United.

The Scot was named by Richard Arnold who recognized the importance of his experience

The Scot was named by Richard Arnold who recognized the importance of his experience

But Arnold, who took over from Woodward in February, recognized the importance of tapping into Ferguson’s vast knowledge of football after winning an unprecedented 38 trophies during his 26½ years in charge of Old Trafford. .

Gill played a key role in that success during his 16 years at United, including a decade as managing director, but he too has been a peripheral figure at the club in recent years despite his position in the game.

Gill, 64, sits on UEFA’s executive committee and is also treasurer of European football’s governing body, as well as chairman of the finance committee and remuneration committee.

He is joined by legendary United skipper Bryan Robson (left) in Arnold's think tank

Ferguson has contributed little to the club since retiring almost a decade ago

He is joined by legendary United skipper Bryan Robson (left) in Arnold’s think tank

Robson is revered as a United legend and also works as a club ambassador, like Ferguson.

It is understood the three men will advise Arnold on a wide range of issues, including the redevelopment of Old Trafford and Carrington, and the club’s relationship with its fans.

This will inevitably involve football matters as well, although they will be careful not to step on Murtough’s toes.

David Gill (right) spent a decade as United chief executive and now sits on the UEFA executive committee

David Gill (right) spent a decade as United chief executive and now sits on the UEFA executive committee

Ferguson spoke to Ronaldo when the player and his agent held talks with Arnold on Tuesday, but it appears there was a brief conversation when the player approached his former manager.

Club sources insist their meeting was a coincidence as Ferguson’s lunch had been in the paper for some time.

However, it is understood the venue may have been moved to Carrington so Arnold could meet Ronaldo and Mendes.

And having Ferguson – who persuaded Ronaldo to stay an extra year at United in 2008 – in the building would have been another smart move by Arnold.

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