Wednesday, May 08, 2013

27 YEARS AFTER, ALEX FERGUSONS STEPS DOWN AS MANCHESTER UNITED COACH



It was a big shock to football pundits, fans and enthusiasts as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson announced he will retire as coach of the newly crowned English Premier league champion after 27 years at the club, 

Ferguson is expected to be rewarded with being a member of the board by the Old Trafford hierarchy . 


Announcing the news, he said: 'The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly. It is the right time.

'It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so. 
Looking to the future: Sir Alex Ferguson will retire as manager of Manchester United at the end of the season

The quality of this league winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level whilst the structure of the youth set-up will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.

'Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world.


'Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both Director and Ambassador for the club. With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future.


'I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential. My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career, providing a bedrock of both stability and encouragement. Words are not enough to express what this has meant to me.


'As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs. Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich.


'In my early years, the backing of the board, and Sir Bobby Charlton in particular, gave me the confidence and time to build a football club, rather than just a football team.


'Over the past decade, the Glazer family have provided me with the platform to manage Manchester United to the best of my ability and I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a talented and trustworthy Chief Executive in David Gill. I am truly grateful to all of them.


No 1 signing: Eric Cantona (right) was possibly Ferguson's most important acquisition
'To the fans, thank you. The support you have provided over the years has been truly humbling. It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United.'

This announcement on this day marks one that pundit believe, will redefine the landscape of British football. 

Dr Ferguson: Getting an honorary doctorate during graduation ceremony at Stirling University in 2011
Consequently, Manchester United are hunting for a new manager for the first time in over a quarter of a century

David Moyes, out of contract at Everton, and Jose Mourinho, who is expected to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season, are the obvious favourites, although Borussia Dortmund's highly-regarded coach Jurgen Klopp and Bayern Munich's 67-year-old outgoing boss Jupp Heynckes will also come into contention.

It promises to be a major test of nerve for the Glazer family, plus Ed Woodward, who will replace David Gill as chief executive in the summer.

The consolation the United Hierarchy is that Ferguson will remain in the club as a director.  


'Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is but he's also a wonderful person,' said co-chairman Joel Glazer.


'His determination to succeed and dedication to the club have been truly remarkable. I will always cherish the wonderful memories he has given us, like that magical night in Moscow.'


King of Europe again: Ferguson lifts the European Cup in 2008
Avi Glazer added: 'I am delighted to announce that Alex has agreed to stay with the Club as a director. His contributions to Manchester United over the last 26 years have been extraordinary and, like all United fans, I want him to be a part of its future.'


The 71-year-old moved to Old Trafford in 1986 and re-built United's empire in spectacular fashion - winning an astonishing 38 trophies to make his career haul 49 in all.

But, after infamously 'quitting' 12 years ago, he has decided to retire once and for all at the end of this season. He leaves having won his 13th Premier League trophy - and reclaiming the title from the 'noisy neighbours' Manchester City.

United’s final match of the season, at West Bromwich Albion on May 19, will be the 1,500th of Ferguson’s tenure as manager.

Title No 13: Arms aloft, Ferguson salutes the Old Trafford crowd after this seasons league title is sewn up
Having always cited his health as the primary factor in any decision to retire, the club’s confirmation last Friday evening that Ferguson, who had a heart pacemaker fitted in 2004, would undergo hip surgery in August raised fresh doubt over his determination to continue in the post.



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