Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted it will be a blow to him when Manchester United’s chief executive David Gill steps down at the end of the season.

The Old Trafford club’s manager even revealed he tried to get Gill to stay on in his post but the 55-year-old was adamant he would be concentrating on getting a place on UEFAs executive committee.

Gill has held the post for a decade and oversaw a period of unprecedented success for Manchester United, though Ferguson admitted it was not all smiles between the two.

The Scot said meetings between the two were not always plain sailing but insisted that mutual respect and putting Manchester United first meant they were healthy and enjoyable disagreements.

The Red Devils’ vice-chairman Edward Woodward will take up the role when Gill steps down at the end of the season and Ferguson admitted the move would be a blow.

“Him stepping down is a big loss to me,” he said on Wednesday.

“But the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me that the reason for his departure is heartfelt – that he believes it is time for the club to move on.

“If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it.”

Ferguson revealed the dynamic of their relationship and why it meant the decisions they made together were good for Manchester United.

“Of course we have had a million arguments,” added the Scot. 

“But I have always enjoyed them because I know that David has two great qualities: he is straight and he always puts Manchester United first.”

Gill’s time at Manchester United coincided with the years where Manchester United became champions of Europe for the third time, as well as getting to another final

They also won the Premier League title five times, including three on the bounce between 2006-2009.

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