Sir Alex Ferguson makes classy Man United gesture after unpopular Sir Jim Ratcliffe decision

Sir Alex Ferguson was in attendance at Old Trafford on the final day of the Women’s Super League (WSL) season. With Manchester United hosting Chelsea, the influential figure made his presence at the ground felt.

United and Mark Skinner had little to play for other than seeking to finish above Liverpool as fourth spot remained up for grabs. Just one week on from their FA Cup demolition of Tottenham at Wembley, the big names were out in force once again.

Emma Hayes and Chelsea entered the game knowing that a win would give them a strong chance of claiming a fourth WSL title in a row. It is the last match in charge of the club for Hayes as she looks to leave with a bang.

However, despite the positivity of Ferguson being at the ground, it was noticeable for many how that contrasted with the absence of Sir Jim Ratcliffe last weekend.

Writing from Old Trafford, Reach PLC’s women’s football writer Beth Lindop said: “If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to leave a club while on top, it’s Ferguson. The legendary Manchester United boss is at Old Trafford today to watch Skinner’s side take on title-chasing Chelsea.

“But, while his heart may belong in the red corner, there might just be a part of him that is rooting for departing Blues boss Emma Hayes too.

“The soon-to-be US Women’s National Team coach revealed last November that Ferguson had been in touch to wish her well ahead of her move Stateside. “He calls me from time to time so I wasn’t surprised,” she said.

“Anything he says to me I always take with such pride. He is a legend of the game and someone whose opinion I value and he has a love of America. We talked a little bit about that, a little bit about legacy, a little bit about leaving at the top. So there were wise words from him. I’m sure it won’t be the last phone call I get from him this season.”

“It is fitting then, that Ferguson is in the stands to watch Hayes’ Chelsea swansong. And, after Ratcliffe’s controversial absence at Wembley for the Women’s FA Cup Final last weekend, it’s also reassuring to see INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford in attendance for today’s match.

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