Plans for a colossal statue of long-time manager Sir Alex Ferguson - at 316ft height, over 10 ft taller than New York's Statue of Liberty - were unveiled at Manchester United's Old Trafford ground today.
"Sir Alex's statue, to be called 'The Beacon of the North', capturing as it does the very essence of the man, will tower above the pitch." said United's owner Malcolm Glazer. "Bestriding the stadium itself, this modern-day colossus is destined to become a permanent Mancunian landmark for generations to come."
"The inside of the bronze statue will be hollow, with two elevators taking visitors up to a Sir Alex-themed 'park' and viewing platforms," said Glazer, "And because of the monument's exceptional height, it will incorporate a large red flashing aircraft-warning beacon artistically positioned on the manager's nose."
Ferguson, who is now 70 years old, already has a stand named in his honour.
The American owner revealed that, in honour of Ferguson's Scottish ancestry, the statue was to originally be called 'The Cock of the North'. "But," he explained, "after the debacle at Manchester City when they named one of the Etihad Stadium stands 'The Bell End' (after Blues legend Colin Bell), we thought it might be open to misinterpretation. We had the same misgivings over an alternative suggestion ,'The Red Devil'. So we finally settled on 'The Beacon'; a more fitting tribute to the great man."
THE BEACON OF THE NORTH WILL STARE DOWN ON PLAYERS AND REFEREES ALIKE...
Red Light District
United already have two permanent statues outside their famous ground - one of legendary manager Sir Matt Busby overlooking the East Stand, and the other known as the 'the United Trinity' of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton. 'The Beacon of the North' will be located behind the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand and players and opponents will have his face, with flashing red nose, looking down at them during all their evening matches.
The statue's estimated £38m cost will initially be paid for by owner Glazer and then transferred to the debts of the club, currently running at £423m. "It's well worth the money, after all, we paid more than that for Berbatov." commented Glazer.
"We're thrilled. This colossus will add to the viability and profitability of Old Trafford as a potent global tourist attraction."
"Though," he added, "we don't anticipate any visitors from the locality, as there aren't actually any Manchester United supporters in Manchester itself."