The Independent says Ferguson collected £4m from the sale of his online restaurant booking site Toptable to an American rival.
The Manchester United boss owned 11 per cent of the company after being persuaded to come on board by friend and fellow Scot Karen Hanton, 53, who founded the pioneering company at the height of the dot.com boom in 2000.
Another investor was the chef Gary Rhodes, who is due to earn £400,000 from the deal. Ms Hanton will earn £16m from her stake, following the acquisition by San Francisco-based group OpenTable for £35m. After failing to turn a profit for the first five years of operation, the company enjoyed a net income of £750,000 in 2009 and now helps seat nearly three million diners a year.