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The one thing stopping the Glazers from sacking David Moyes...

What would Sir Alex Ferguson say?

You will notice a shift in tone in most of the reports you read this week.

The narrative is no longer about Manchester United "giving David Moyes time." Instead, newspapers the world across have changed their approach: now he is a dead man walking.

If Moyes isn't fighting for his future, he's either got a week until he is, or the writing is already on the wall - according to what you'll read.

And these reports may well be true. So deep is the hole the Scot has dug himself at Old Trafford, it is hard to see him ever recovering. Even if he somehow leads Man United to Premier League and Champions League glory one day, he will still be remembered as the man who didn't have a clue what he was doing in his first year at the club - and turned title winners into mid-table mediocrity.

Defeats like Sunday's 3-0 loss to arch rivals Liverpool just aren't acceptable. And Moyes knows that.

But there could be one factor stopping United owners the Glazers from sacking the 50-year-old: a factor few seem to have taken into consideration. The Fergie Factor.

All season, Sir Alex Ferguson, the man who built the single greatest legacy in the history of football management, has spoken strongly about how Manchester United are not a sacking club - and how they will back Moyes for the duration of his six-year contract.

Were Moyes to be given the boot, Ferguson stands to lose as much face as the club itself.

When asked if the Scot had United's backing in January, Fergie replied: "Absolutely. You don't even need to go down that road.

"Everyone knows what Manchester United is — it's absolutely 100 per cent. Manchester United have always been that way."

Those words were spoken with some conviction.

So imagine how Ferguson would feel if the man he single-handedly picked as his successor, defended for the duration of his time at Old Trafford and insisted would not be sacked... was sacked in his first season at the club.

One would imagine the 72-year-old would not be too happy. In fact, he'd probably be on the phone to the Glazers first thing the very next morning. Who'd want to be on the receiving end of that phonecall?

Ferguson, meanwhile, could also publicly declare his fury with the United owners - and what would that do to the club's share prices?

After all the backing the Scot gave the Glazers during the myriads of fan protests against their ownership, they would be wise not to upset the man who won them every honour under the sun. And that might just be the one thing keeping Moyes in a job.

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