On the opening day of that season, the Old Trafford side kicked off the campaign with a 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa after a summer of upheaval and the exit of many of the club's leading players.
As Paul Ince, Mark Hughes and Andrei Kanchelskis were all sold and replaced by up-and-coming youth players such as David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville, Hansen famously coined the phrase "you can't win anything with kids".
The former Scotland inter- nationalist was left with egg on his face as United went on to win the league-and-cup double that season in what was the beginning of another prolific period for United.
In light of the transfer embargo placed upon them, the big question for Rangers now is: Can kids keep them in the SPL next season? That, of course, might turn out to be the burning issue given the events of the last week.
As things stand, no new arrivals will be permitted at Ibrox unless they are aged 18 or younger.
To compound matters, a number of experienced players have clauses in their current deals leaving Rangers powerless to prevent them from walking away for specific, and below-market value, fees.
Just about every senior first-team player, including captain Steven Davis, Steven Naismith, Allan McGregor, Mo Edu, Dorin Goian, Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker, have the right to leave the club if another team matches the figure inserted in their contracts after agreeing to wage cuts.
If the worst comes to the worst, manager Ally McCoist could find himself having to rely on a team of kids, possibly with the exception of a handful of current experienced first-team players who might decide against moving on.
McCoist himself has already spoken out about the dangers of having to go with a batch of young- sters in the SPL.
"Kids couldn't survive, I don't think," is what the Ibrox manager admitted in light of the initial decision by the SFA's Independent Judicial Panel.
"Look at the teams who were fighting against relegation, like Dunfermline and Hibs, and look at the experience they have. I think it would be extremely difficult for a team of kids to stay in the SPL."
That, however, might just be the challenge he finds himself tackling head-on next season, depending on how things transpire over the next couple of months, but it does appear more than likely Rangers could have to depend on their top young talents.
With Kyle Hutton returning from a loan spell at relegated Dunfermline, the Ibrox club could be forced to field a midfield containing him, Jamie Ness and Rhys McCabe, while John Fleck could also come into the mix if he returns from a loan spell at Blackpool.
At the back, Ross Perry has already amassed a reasonable amount of first-team experience and Kane Hemmings and Andrew Little are also products of the Rangers youth system.
Those youngsters, supplemented by a handful of exper-ienced players to possibly include the likes of Lee McCulloch, Lee Wallace and David Healy, might be what McCoist finds himself having to operate with come the start of next season.
A frightening prospect perhaps for the Light Blue legions, however, one man who came through the Murray Park ranks with these kids is Jordan McMillan – and he has every faith in them.
The full-back made the decision to quit his boyhood heroes to secure regular top-team action at Dunfermline, but he said: "What is happening at the minute is far from ideal, but it could present the younger players with a real opportunity. What you've got to remember is these guys are at Rangers for a reason – they are all top young players. You don't come through the youth system and play in the first team unless you have ability.
"If you look at the likes of Jamie, Ross, Kyle and Rhys, they all have a reasonable amount of matches under their belts already and they have acquitted themselves well so far.
"Yes, it would be different being in the team every week, but I honestly believe if they were to play regularly with some first-team players in there with them they would more than hold their own in the SPL. You'd be talking a top-six finish.
"I remember both myself and Ross being thrown in against Motherwell at Fir Park before I moved to Dunfermline and the pair of us performed really well in what was one of the best Rangers performances of the season.
"Rhys did really well in one of the Old Firm games at Ibrox and Jamie has shown he has real ability. I'd have no fears over them. Experience is important, but the most important thing is ability and they've all got that.
"Only time will tell what happens with Rangers and, as a supporter, I hope everything works out well. Next season might be a difficult one and just how many of the top players stay will be especially important.
"But, I'll repeat, the younger guys can step up to the plate. I'm sure if they are thrown in at the deep end, which might have to be the case, then they'll perform a lot better than many people are suggesting."