Gill has announced he will leave the club at the end of the season.
“Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me that the reason for his departure is heartfelt – that he believes it is time for the club to move on,” Ferguson said. “If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it.”
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.