On Monday, Sir Alex Ferguson unveiled the new sign of a road close to Old Trafford that has been renamed in his honour. Last November, he was present as the Red Devils erected a statue of him outside Old Trafford's North Stand - a stand that a year earlier had been renamed the 'Sir Alex Ferguson Stand'.

None of this would have happened if Ferguson had made a very different choice back in 2003, when Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich wanted the Scot to join his revolution at Stamford Bridge.

"They used an agent to approach me when Abramovich first took over the club," Ferguson recently revealed in his first major interview since retiring from football management. Before adding: "And I said no chance."

Fiercely committed to United, Ferguson would go on to manage the Red Devils for another 10 years before calling time on his glittering career, allowing him to cement his status as the most successful British manager of all time in the process.

Sure, he would have had more money to spend on new signings at Chelsea - and he would have earned a fair bit more, too - but who's to say that it would have worked out for Fergie at Stamford Bridge?

Look at the calibre of managers who have passed through the doors at Chelsea since 2003: Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo and Rafael Benitez.

All have come and gone - and in the case of Mourinho, come back again - but all share one thing in common: they were unceremoniously dismissed by the club's trigger-happy owner.

There's every chance that Ferguson could have suffered the same fate had he opted to embark on a fresh challenge at Chelsea a decade ago. Manchester United worked so well for him because he was given total control of the club, but no manager has been afforded that luxury at Stamford Bridge since the arrival of Abramovich.

Also, Ferguson's legacy at Manchester United would have been forever tarnished. The multiple league titles, the FA Cup triumphs, that glorious Champions League win in 1999 - everything synonymous with Ferguson at United would have been soured beyond repair.

Some managers would have jumped at the chance to join the Premier League's newest superpower back in 2003, but Ferguson's reluctance to even listen to the offer on the table is one of the reasons why he is - and always will be - a bonafide Manchester United legend.

Topics:
#Premier League
#Manchester United
#Chelsea
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