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Sven-Goran Eriksson remains among the leading contenders to land the Fulham manager’s job – see the best odds on every candidate here.

Sir Alex Ferguson has paid tribute to the Glazer family and claimed criticism of the Manchester United owners is unfair.

Although United have been named by the Forbes Rich List as the richest club in the world with an estimated value of £1.18billion, their debt is over £700million.

The Glazers have grown increasingly unpopular among fans, with a large section of United supporters backing the Green and Gold protest movement.

However, Ferguson has launched a strong defence of the Americans, who took full control at Old Trafford in 2005.

“The debt has come through by the club being bought out by an owner. You know full well that when a business is bought it’s usually bought with debt,” said Ferguson.

“Because it’s a football club it seems to attract a more negative reporting from the media and from the fans.

“But Manchester United football club, when it went plc, it was always going to be bought. It was inevitable.

“So when a particular family like the Glazers have bought it, it’s unfair they come in for criticism because anybody could have bought it.

“I have to say they’ve done their job well. They support myself, the manager, they’ve supported the players. I’ve never been refused when I’ve asked for money for a player.

“So what can I do other than carry on the way we’re doing it and the way I’m allowed to carry on, I’ve no complaints.”

Ferguson also claimed in an interview with CNN that he intends to carry on at the helm for as long as he remains healthy.

At 68, he is heading into his 24th season at Old Trafford where he has won 11 Premier League titles and two European Cups.

He said: “A lot of factors come into most important things. I’m at the right club, it’s a fantastic club, it demands a challenge all the time.

“Every day, every year there’s the challenge of being at the top and that helps me. I think you need good natural energy and I’ve been blessed with that.

“I’m very fortunate about that so I’ll keep going as long as my health keeps going. The same applies to every person. I’m 68 and so far my health’s been standing up.

“If I have my health I can carry on. There will be a point when I do quit but I have absolutely no idea when that is.

“I tried that a few years ago and it was an absolute disaster. Agony. My wife made me change my mind and she was dead right.

“I think she was soon fed up with me in the house. Now when the time comes I think the club should be okay.”

Sven-Goran Eriksson remains among the leading contenders to land the Fulham manager’s job – see the best odds on every candidate here.

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