David Gill says he and Sir Alex Ferguson have a great relationship at Old Trafford, with the chief executive insisting that Ferguson’s tenure with Manchester United is a showing of his brilliance as a manager and man.
Ferguson celebrated 25 years in charge of United last week, and Gill, who has worked alongside the Scotsman for 14 years, is one of many to give their thanks and praise to the manager who has accumulated 37 trophies for the club.
And he believes that while Ferguson has been around for quarter of a century, his ability to be as passionate and hard working as his first year at United makes him a top-class manager.
“We trust each other implicitly and I think it's been of benefit to Manchester United,” he said.
“In the world of sport, where things are measured in very short time-frames, to be at one club for 25 years is obviously phenomenal. I think all the usual adjectives and superlatives quite rightly apply in this situation. Frankly, it's amazing to maintain that motivation and hunger for success in a very demanding environment for 25 years and it's quite rightly regarded as a brilliant achievement.
“I think his record is there for everyone to see. He's managed to sustain that level of success over that period by reinventing the team. Players clearly haven't got a shelf-life of 25 years so he's managed to change teams at appropriate times and deliver sustained success.
“The world of sport these days is so competitive and to continue that over that period, I think is truly fantastic. He is clearly as the media see him - very motivated, competitive and wants to win. All those attributes let him have that success but, at the same time, he's witty with a good sense of humour.”
Gill believes that Ferguson will be almost impossible to replace when he does eventually hang up the boots for the last time at United, though he argued that United will look out to find a replacement as close as possible to Ferguson’s values and beliefs.
“Certainly, it'll be difficult to replace him - it's naive to say anything other than that but we are a great club whose values go back in history to our heritage to the 50s and 60s and the last 25 years with Alex,” he explained.
“To continue with that, the new manager needs to understand those values and the vision for the club and must buy into that.
“The important point to make is the new manager, whenever that may be and whomever that may be, will be taking over a great, great club, in a great, great sport and Alex, in particular, will want to make sure he inherits a great squad.
“That's our goal - to make sure when the new manager comes in he does have a great squad to work with in terms of age and profile etc.”