Manchester United chief executive David Gill insists the English champions are prepared for the day Sir Alex Ferguson stands down.
Ferguson, who has led United to 12 of their 19 English league titles, is embarking on his 25th season at Old Trafford and will turn 70 on December 31.
Gill said that although Ferguson’s hunger for success remained, the club was prepared to replace him when they needed to.
“There won’t be a meltdown. It will clearly be a sea change for the club and we have to be ready,” he told The Guardian.
“I will co-ordinate the process but clearly I will take great store in what he (Ferguson) says and what other key people at the club say.”
“The owners will clearly have a view. All these things will come together.”
“It would be a collective body, not a big body, but we would get all the input to make sure we make the appropriate choice.”
“We never discuss it (Ferguson’s retirement), put it that way. He delegates well and football keeps him young.”
Meanwhile, Gill criticised those supporters who are still opposed to the Glazer family’s ownership of Manchester United, but believes that the majority of fans now trust the Florida-based owners.
“We are never going to win (over) those people,” he said.
“If we won four European Cups in a row, there will be certain people who won’t like the owners and what they stand for.”
“The anti-people were here before the Glazers.”
“But we are running the club for the vast majority of millions of fans around the world who believe the club is moving in the right direction.”
Manchester United start their domestic season against local rivals Manchester City in the Community Shield on August 7, before opening the defence of their Premier League title away to West Bromwich Albion a week later.