Last updated : 31 January 2006 By Ed

Once again the one-time socialist nails his (changed) colours to the mast in an interview in the New Yorker magazine as reported in The Telegraph:

"I'm not going to be here for 10 years, or anything. But I'd like to see this side develop to their full potential." That could well mean him staying on for another three to four years.

Ferguson said that United could not match Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's spending and were having to cut the size of their squad because of the high salaries of modern players. Talking of trying to matching Abramovich, he said, "I don't think we can afford that, to be honest with you."

As for the effect of high salaries on squad sizes he said: "We are working with a squad of about 19 or 20 players. In the past it was a bit bigger but keeping up with a squad of more than 19 or 20 happy financially is very difficult. They are all on terrific salaries, so you try not to carry surplus players."

If this is bad enough for diehard Manchester United supporters who cannot accept that their team are no longer the best in England, let alone the world, then Ferguson rubs salt into the wounds by making it clear that he cannot understand why some fans got so worked up about the Glazer takeover.

"Prior to the club going plc, that is when the fans should have complained, but they didn't. They maybe thought it was going into the hands of the fans, but you know fine well, when you put a club into a plc anybody can buy it. I don't understand why there is so much emotion now."

When asked if the Glazers had given him advice on how to run the team he responded: "I think they are expecting me to come up with the ideas. I've been here for 19 years, you know."