'They didn't want me!': Eric Cantona says Manchester United rejected him for job

Eric Cantona
(Image credit: Stephane Cardinale – Corbis via Getty Images)

Manchester United (opens in new tab) icon Eric Cantona has revealed that his former club turned down his offer to become their "president of football" last year.

The maverick Frenchman put forward the idea of returning to Old Trafford to advise on footballing matters.

In an interview with The Athletic, Cantona explained how he suggested United alter their off-field structure. He said (opens in new tab):

"Ed Woodward [the club's former executive vice-chairman, who left his position in February this year] is great at marketing but not great at football. United have a chairman and then they should have a president of marketing and then a president of football, who is in charge of all the decisions in football. So I proposed to them that I should be president of football."

6 April, 1996: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson gives instructions to Eric Cantona

Cantona won four Premier League titles under Sir Alex Ferguson (Image credit: Mark Leech/Offside via Getty Images)

It seems that United weren't overly receptive to Cantona's proposal, though. The 56-year-old continued:

"But they did not want me to be the president [of football] of the club! They did not want me! And the fans have to know that I went and travelled to Manchester to give them the opportunity to succeed in the next decades. And they did not want it."

'President Cantona' certainly has a nice ring to it. What would his first order of business have been? Mandatory turned-up collars for all players? Lessons in how to confuse the media with bizarre analogies (opens in new tab)

It's an almighty shame we won't get to find out (well, at least for now...).

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...