Posted on Apr 13
Sir Alex Ferguson believes changes in society mean even his incredible record at Manchester United wouldn't be enough to save him from abuse from supporters if things went wrong at Old Trafford.
Ferguson is disturbed by the growing trend for fans to subject the manager of their club to vitriolic abuse at the first sign of failure, regardless of the circumstances.
The United boss points to the examples of Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish, who has been jeered despite working with a limited budget due to cost cutting, and Blackburn's Steve Kean, who suffered horrendous abuse in his first managerial job at one of the Premier League's smaller clubs.
Even Ferguson isn't immune to questioning from United fans, many of whom used the club's own TV channel to express their frustration at his decision to rest veteran midfielder Paul Scholes for Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Wigan.
Suffering criticism with his side still on course for the 13th English title of his United reign has prompted Ferguson to turn his guns on the modern-day supporter, who he believes is a product of a more aggressive society.
"I think so, yes," said Ferguson, when asked whether the abuse McLeish has received could happen anywhere.
"It is a change in society. I spoke some time ago about the picture of the melee on the pitch between United and Leeds and in the background the fans were completely passive. You wouldn't get that today.
"We did the right thing resting Paul on Wednesday. It may not have looked like that to the fans but after playing on Sunday and then having another match three days later, we did the right thing."