The Manchester United boss reckons the Highland League club have the ability to make a success of the step up.

Ferguson has admired Cove since he was in charge of their neighbours Aberdeen in the early 80s.

Ferguson said: "I'm right behind Cove's bid. I have always recognised them to be a very progressive club and it's great they are showing a real level of ambition.

"Alan McRae has always had the drive to push the club forward and that's something I have admired.

"So much so I brought a United team up to Allan Park to mark the opening of a new lounge and floodlights in 1992.

"Since then the club have made great progress and they have a structure in place with the new stadium plans moving forward so they deserve to make progress.

"Aberdeen have also pledged their support to Cove as they appreciate that competition isn't a bad thing."

Fergie brings his European champions to Pittodrie a week on Saturday for a game to mark the 25th anniversary of his first European triumph when Aberdeen beat Real Madrid in Gothenburg to lift the Cup Winners' Cup.