Ex-Old Trafford chairman still rues Sir Alex Ferguson deciding against all-time great Zidane but paying £28m for flop Veron
Here he hits back at sniping over United‘s spending, plus reveals his feelings on Eric Cantona’s contract discussion, Zinedine Zidane NOT signing and Juan Sebastian Veron shattering the Old Trafford wage structure.
Zinedine Zidane would surely have suited the Man Utd style of elegant passing
Argentine midfielder Juan Veron is commonly regarded as one of the worst pound-for-pound signings made by Alex Ferguson at Manchester United
THE accusation has always been United sold out and became overly commercialised — but every club was doing the same.
While I was running United we never had a fairy godmother like Chelsea, where a wealthy individual takes over, throws money around and changes their football fortunes.
Everything we generated was off our own back through good management.
ERIC arrived at my office and I explained that if we lost the league he could end up with less — but if we won it he got more.
Eric Cantona proved an inspirational signing as he helped Man Utd to the title
French maverick Eric Cantona had an aura and confidence on and off the pitch
I asked: “So for the next three years Eric, how many times will we win the league?”
Immediately, he said “three times” That’s how confident he was.
I CAN perfectly understand Alex’s argument at the time for not taking Zidane.
Alex couldn’t have known Eric was going to retire.
It is very similar to the Lineker situation in Ron Atkinson’s time . . . but Zidane in the red of United is one of the biggest what-might-have-beens during my tenure at the club.
Alex Ferguson decided against signing French midfield magician Zinedine Zidane
I WAS very disappointed when we bought Juan Sebastian Veron in 2001.
We had won the league and we had Nicky Butt in the reserves. I felt ‘Why spend £28million on a player who costs £5m a year in wages?’
We were breaking the wage structure on a player I didn’t think was necessary.
MORE FROM MARTIN EDWARDS’ AUTOBIOGRAPHY RED GLORY: MANCHESTER UNITED AND ME
Argentina star Juan Veron often looked laboured in the Man Utd midfield
Alex Ferguson was regularly backed in the transfer market by Martin Edwards and Co, such as when Wales striker Mark Hughes returned from Barcelona
Manchester United 2-0 Leicester: Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini come off bench to fire Red Devils to victory
Red Glory: Manchester United and Me by Martin Edwards is published by Michael O’Mara Books
Keep up to date with ALL the transfer news and gossip on our blog