Rooney's written himself into United folklore: Ferguson

LONDON • Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson thinks that no one will beat Wayne Rooney's Red Devils scoring record.

Rooney surpassed Bobby Charlton's tally of 249 goals on Saturday to snatch a draw for United away to Stoke.

Ferguson fell out with Rooney when the forward handed in two transfer requests during his time in charge at Old Trafford but he still holds the 31-year-old in high regard as he lauded the player's landmark on Tuesday.

"Sir Bobby's record lasted for 44 years, I think, and when Wayne Rooney joined the club I could never imagine anybody could beat Sir Bobby's record," Ferguson said.

"So his achievement is outstanding. I don't think so (anyone can overtake Wayne).

"If you look at modern-day football, Manchester United are one of the few clubs who can keep players for over ten years, but it is more difficult than ever. You see it happening less and less that players stay for that length of time."

Ferguson also praised Rooney's manager, Jose Mourinho, for lifting United to within four points of the Champions League places.

"It's not easy coming to United and transforming the club's fortunes," he said.

"Louis van Gaal did a good job and I think Jose is doing a great job. He is very unlucky.

"He has had six draws and in each of those games, he has battered every team.

"If he had not got those draws, United would be challenging Chelsea."

Meanwhile, the Manchester United Supporters' Trust (Must) has raised concerns about the financial burden that will fall on the shoulders of the 2,600 fans who will be displaced to make way for 300 new disabled spaces at Old Trafford.

United will pay the difference in cost for one year for season ticket-holders who have to be moved to pricier areas of the stadium and offer them free cup tickets for 12 months.

"No supporter who is compulsorily relocated should suffer any financial loss as a result and we urge the club to extend the one-year price freeze they have proposed," a Must statement read.

Coming into effect next year, the changes will mean a loss of around £ 1.7 million (S$ 3 million) in annual ticket revenue and reduce the overall capacity to about 73,000.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 26, 2017, with the headline 'Rooney's written himself into United folklore: Ferguson'. Print Edition | Subscribe