Former spy discovers hero in Manchester United’s Paul Pog

(FoxNews.com) — Before 1995, Manchester United used to be despised by fans who wouldn’t watch a single game at Old Trafford without cursing the team’s manager. But following the sacking of Sir Alex Ferguson,…

Former spy discovers hero in Manchester United’s Paul Pog

(FoxNews.com) — Before 1995, Manchester United used to be despised by fans who wouldn’t watch a single game at Old Trafford without cursing the team’s manager.

But following the sacking of Sir Alex Ferguson, managing director Bruno Fernandes was tasked with finding a new manager who could revive the poor franchise and make the people stop writing bad reviews on blogs and articles.

Fernandes told FoxNews.com: “Sir Alex was my most important appointment. He had done an amazing job, and he was very close to my heart. When I came in, I knew if I could keep the passion of supporters, then I could get through everything.”

Fernandes says United lacked a charismatic figurehead who the fans could rally around.

He had experience in sport with the military, and he decided to turn to former pupil Bruce Rioch, who has worked as an international soccer coach for the last 30 years.

He said: “We wanted a passion figure, a big personality, and that was Bruce Rioch. We didn’t know if he could do it, but we put everything into it. The players trusted him, the fans trusted him, and we all worked together. He had an intensity, but he wasn’t a dictator — that was important as well.”

Rioch says his passion is easy to conceal.

He told FoxNews.com: “You could see it at times, but you don’t always pick it up. The thing is to keep in contact with the fans and they will give you some bits and pieces about how you’re doing. I can be very good at giving them feedback, and knowing when to add that little light to the darkness. I can sometimes be taken aback by the response I get, but it doesn’t matter, as long as you hear it from the fans.”

It didn’t take long for young, rising star Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to come in and play for United’s reserves. In just over a month, Rioch introduced him to Ferguson and put him in the starting eleven.

He’s gone on to score more than 100 goals for the club.

Rioch said: “Some players might have even decided on a different career path after that. They might have gone on to win the European Cup, but probably they’d gone to a rival club and they wouldn’t have enjoyed a warm reception.”

Rioch says he felt “special” as soon as Solskjaer walked into the dressing room.

He said: “He was incredibly fast on the ball, he was composed, he held the ball well, he finished, and he could put the ball away when it was needed. He probably has the best set piece of any player I’ve worked with, and he could do it alone or in one of the best formations we’ve ever had, so I knew we had someone special.”

Fernandes put first responders in charge of securing the stadium for the 1994 World Cup and it proved to be the perfect approach.

He said: “If we needed to be in position and defend a set piece, or collect a corner, we had access to them.”

Manchester United’s success also resulted in huge wealth for Manchester.

However, Farnan has his doubts about the future of football.

He said: “I am a football fan, but I don’t think that we are going to see the top level of financial wealth return to the game for the good of the game. The sport and the economy are going to change in many ways. We are going to see people trying to make money out of the game. But we will see more and more regulation around the sport, and that will affect the consumers — it’s up to them what they want.”

Fernandes’ main objective was to get United back in the top four. He says the fans are now full of pride.

He said: “Every single night we come here, they are first out, and that is because the stadium is full. We took over this stadium and we’re making it ours again.”

According to the FFP rules, United had to sell striker Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid in the summer. It raised £165 million. A full campaign couldn’t have been less successful.

This led to Ferguson leaving the club he’s managed for over 30 years.

According to Bobby Charlton, Ferguson has “probably been the best manager this country has ever seen.”

Charlton was Ferguson’s greatest champion and had paid a price for his honesty. He retired from England more than 40 years ago, after a season in which he led the country to win both the World Cup and European Championships.

Earlier this month, after dealing with illness and bereavement, Charlton returned to the Old Trafford Stadium for the first time in nearly 40 years. He stood in the away end, offering his backing to

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