Everyone thinks of Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the greatest football managers of all time.

But it didn’t always look like that.

About 15 years ago Alex Ferguson was in trouble.

Manchester United had stopped winning games.

Whatever Ferguson did, it didn’t seem to work.

People began questioning if he was the right man for the job.

Ferguson was desperate.

So he was forced to take a gamble.

He brought in 5 young players from the youth team.

The unknown and untried: Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, and Nicky Butt.

Ferguson thought they were too young.

But that year, with those young players as their core, Manchester United won the double.

Champions of The Premiership and winners of The F.A. Cup.

5 young players that between them would cost about £150 million at today’s prices.

Alex Ferguson got them all free.

Courtesy of Manchester United’s youth team.

Why don’t big agency creative departments have youth teams?

Keep the Executive Creative Director in charge overall.

But also have a youth team creative director in charge of youngsters.

For the cost of two fat-cat heavyweight teams you could get up to ten teams of youngsters.

They’d all work at least twice as hard as the heavyweights.

The work would be fresher and more original.

And at least half of those teams would be worth keeping.

So you promote them to the main creative department and get in more youngsters.

It has to be a constant process of movement: up or out.

So there would be a constant turnover: and constant competition.

They could work on anything the main creative department didn’t want to.

And the pressure from below would stop the fat cats above resting on their laurels.

The youngsters would be desperate to make their mark.

The espirit de corps would be tremendous.

Just look at today’s Manchester United.

Full of bloated, overpaid, superstars who worry more about their ‘brand’, and their WAGS, and their cars, and Hello magazine, than football.

Now look at the Manchester United of those youth players.

Full of fire, and spirit, and a love to play football.

Not just for the money, but for the fun of it.

If you were a creative director, wouldn’t you like to be able to restock your department from a youth team like that?