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Sir Alex On Wayne’s Decision – The Video
Q: We know what Wayne can do as a player, so are you personally disappointed at the moment?
SAF: Yes, I’m disappointed, very disappointed, I can’t believe it. When you manage Manchester United, there is always something you have to deal with. We’ve had to deal with these situations over the years. There is a disappointment a lot of the time when you have to deal with modern-day players. It’s not as easy as it was many, many years ago when you were negotiating a contract because then the player had to depend and trust on the manager he worked for. And as a manager, you had more contact with the parents then as well. Yesterday I said to Edwin who made that mistake on Saturday, ‘Well, how are you feeling?’ He said the first phone call he’d received was from his father. I said, ‘Well listen to him, he’s the one you should listen to.’ But that’s gone now. We’re dealing with agents who live in the pockets of players. We live in a different world now and we have to deal with it in a different way. It’s a pity but it’s there and we have to deal with it.
Q: What would be your message to the fans?
SAF: The message is that they have to trust Manchester United. If you look at the history of our club over the last 50 years, at the amount of trophies we’ve won, the honour we’ve received, the recognition we’ve got, the respect we’ve got from around the world, the admiration we’ve had from everywhere. We’ve produced more players than any other club in the country for England. It’s a fantastic history and we should always remember that. You have setbacks, we have some blips at times. Last year for instance, we could have created history by winning the league for the fourth time in a row. It had never been done. We lost it by a point. That doesn’t tell us this team is falling apart or anything like that. What it always represents is the next step forward. How do we challenge? That’s Manchester United. You can’t continually win everything every year. But when you have the little blips, we have the structure, we have the management staff to deal with that in order to get us back into line again. We have to deal with Saturday’s disappointment and we have the wherewithal to deal with that.
Q: Is the door still open if Wayne changes his mind?
SAF: Of course. David’s prepared to offer the best terms possible for any player in the country. We realise and recognise the quality of the player, that’s why negotiations were started early summer, two years before his contract was up, to extend that contract. And also extend at the behest of the player itself. He said he wanted to stay for life. We were honouring that request from Wayne to stay at the club, at the club he loved. He said the best thing he’d ever done was to sign for Manchester United. So David was prepared, with the discussions with our owners, to offer Wayne the best contract that anyone could have in the country.