Ferguson: I turned down England job twice

ALEX FERGUSON yesterday claimed that he twice rejected the chance to become England manager, insisting the job is a “terrible job” and a “poisoned chalice”.

The Manchester United manager, in Toronto on the first leg of the club’s pre-season tour of North America, briefly experienced international management, replacing the late Jock Stein to take charge of Scotland during the World Cup finals in Mexico in 1986.

Former FA executive director David Davies has since suggested he was “vaguely encouraged” about the prospects of hiring Ferguson in 1996, before admitting that conversations were “very brief” when attempting to hold similar discussions prior to the appointment of Kevin Keegan in 1999.

Ferguson, speaking on Canadian television, said: “I was offered the chance to manage the England team on a couple of occasions but, of course, it was just out of the question.

“It’s a poisoned chalice anyway. I think it’s a terrible job, plus the fact that I would have had a tremendous handicap being Scottish; no matter which way you look it, that’s important.”

Meanwhile, Darren Fletcher has backed to play a crucial role in United’s attempt to reclaim their Premier League crown from Chelsea, despite the Bulgarian’s failure to score on a regular basis over the past two seasons.

“Dimitar is a great player,” said the Scotland midfielder. “He has fantastic ability. I cannot see him going anywhere. He is an important part of the team.”


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