Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson backed him to become the club's 'President of Football', only for former CEO Ed Woodward to pour cold water on the concept.
Cantona, one of the Premier League's first global icons after breaking away from the Football League, joined United from bitter rivals Leeds in 1992 and would go on to win four titles and two FA Cups with the Red Devils.
After retiring in 1997, Cantona coached France's beach football team for 14 years, while he also had a brief stint as Director of Soccer for the reformed New York Cosmos.
But speaking to The Athletic, the Frenchman revealed he had other grand plans to return to football, insistent on helping out former club United.
"Last year I proposed to the club to change their way," Cantona said.
"Ed Woodward is great at marketing but not great at football. I think you have a chairman and should have a president of administration/marketing and then a president of football, who is in charge of all decisions in football.
"So I proposed to them to be ‘President of Football’.
"First I met Sir Alex Ferguson, to say this to him and know what he thought about it. And he thought it was a good idea.
"He introduced me to Mr. Woodward...I met him a few times. But they did not accept it!
"I said to myself: ‘For five years I will put everything on hold and concentrate 100 per cent on that’. And if I concentrate 100 per cent on that, then I can tell you, I would do it very well; very, very, very well.
"They did not want me! 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."
Cantona also asserted he did not want to accept an ambassadorial role with the club, adding: "I have the kind of personality that does not want to be an ambassador.
"To be an ambassador of the club you have to do the promotion of the club. And me, well if I want to say something, I will say it. Most of the things I say are great things, but if I think something that the people from the club do not like, then I am [now] free to say it. As an ambassador, you cannot say these kind of things, so you lose your freedom."