Before Sir Alex Ferguson was knighted and became S.A.F, he was just another red faced Scotsman looking to p#ss off the establishment. In this case, the establishment was represented by the intimidating form of Liverpool FC, who for such a long period of time in the late 70's and throughout the 80’s dominated not only English, but also European football. That is until 1985 and the Heysel Stadium Disaster, when Scouser fans decided to bull-rush Juventus fans, killing 39 Juve supporters, injuring 600 more, and changing the footballing landscape forever. That's neither here nor there. I digress.
Appointed in 1986, S.A.F made it his obsession to reignite the Manchester United glory years, and in doing so, vowed to "knock Liverpool of their f#cken perch." At the time, such an ambitious statement was considered beyond optimistic. To say Man U was going through a lean period is an understatement. Blighted by poor training habits, a culture of binge drinking, and very tight purse strings, the Red Devils had failed to deceive for far too long.
At the point of taking over the reigns at Old Trafford, Liverpool had just collected their 16th League title. Two more were to follow in 1988 and 1990, giving the Reds a (then record) haul of 18 domestic titles. Without doubt the most successful league club in English football. Manchester United, and their 7 league titles, could only look on with envy.
And so S.A.F set to work. He eradicated the club's drinking culture (probably by consuming the booze before the players got their greedy mitts to it). Ejected the dead weight (see Paul McGrath). Brought in some fan favourites (see Sparky Hughes). And in a moment of (divine) inspiration, secured the services of Eric the King.
The rest, as they say, is history.
In presiding over the most dominant dynasty in English football history, S.A.F has taken the Red Devils to the cusp becoming the most successful club in English football. Eleven league titles ensure the Red Devils sit side by side with their arch nemesis in the battle for footballing supremacy. Just as Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land (insert obligatory political statement about Israel's appalling record of human rights violations in modern times), so too has S.A.F led the Manchester United faithful to their land of milk and honey.
The final hurdle awaits this weekend in the closing round of the Premier League. Chelsea, Roman's Mercenaries, only need win at home against lowly Wigan to keep Man U on the same perch as Liverpool. However, should Wigan battle for a draw, or by some miracle a win, then Manchester United can steal the crown with a win versus Sunderland...and be crowned Champions of England for a record 19th time.
Do we dare dream of such a result? Do we ever! Let's knock them off their f#cken perch!!!