Sir Alex Ferguson to retire as Manchester United manager

Bury Times: Sir Alex Ferguson to retire as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to retire as Manchester United manager

MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is to retire at the end of the season.

United confirmed the news on their website this morning.

"The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly," said Ferguson.

"It is the right time."

Ferguson's last game in charge will be at West Brom on May 19 and he will join the club's football board.

"It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so," he said.

"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."

Ferguson has had a career the like of which will never be seen again.

He won his 49th trophy in United's 20th league championship and seemed set to extend his career into next season, confirming as much in his programme notes ahead of Sunday's encounter with Chelsea.

Instead, with a hip operation booked in for August, this weekend's Old Trafford encounter with Swansea, that will be followed by a trophy presentation, will be his last home game in charge.

He leaves behind a club in good shape.

"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," said Ferguson.

"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."

Although there have been times - in 1989 when it seemed he was going to be sacked, and 2002, when he was about to retire and instead performed a last-minute U-turn - when it was felt Ferguson was ready to leave, this time it is permanent.

The speculation intensified yesterday afternoon and United's failure to respond to questioning about the matter further fuelled the rumours overnight.

Now, Ferguson is left to look back on the power-shift in English football that he has instigated.

"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," said Ferguson.

"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.

"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."

Now, for the first time in over a quarter of a century, United are on the hunt for a new manager.

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 Jürgen 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.

"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."

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."

Ferguson's exit coincides with that of Gill, who hopes to be voted onto UEFA's executive committee in the summer.

"I've had the tremendous pleasure of working very closely with Alex for 16 unforgettable years - through the Treble, the double, countless trophy wins and numerous signings," said Gill.

"We knew that his retirement would come one day and we both have been planning for it by ensuring the quality of the squad and club structures are in first class condition.

"Alex's vision, energy and ability have built teams - both on and off the pitch - that his successor can count on as among the best and most loyal in world sport.

"The way he cares for this club, his staff and for the football family in general is something that I admire. It is a side to him that is often hidden from public view but it is something that I have been privileged to witness in the last 16 years.

"What he has done for this club and for the game in general will never be forgotten.

"It has been the greatest experience of my working life being alongside Alex and a great honour to be able to call him a friend."

Comments (19)

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9:38am Wed 8 May 13

saj70n says...

Good riddance
Good riddance saj70n
  • Score: -5

9:59am Wed 8 May 13

MarkAllRead says...

Take over at Bolton please!
Take over at Bolton please! MarkAllRead
  • Score: -12

10:11am Wed 8 May 13

bolts65 says...

so what if hes retired ,lets hope they start having crap times now
so what if hes retired ,lets hope they start having crap times now bolts65
  • Score: -6

10:15am Wed 8 May 13

Ronnies27 says...

What has this got to do with the people of Bolton? Good riddance to the rudest man in football.
What has this got to do with the people of Bolton? Good riddance to the rudest man in football. Ronnies27
  • Score: -6

11:14am Wed 8 May 13

gladrill says...

The best manager this country as seen or will ever see. Good luck for the future.
The best manager this country as seen or will ever see. Good luck for the future. gladrill
  • Score: 2

11:58am Wed 8 May 13

underwater says...

What a load of spitefull idiots you lot are, the man has done a good job and I for one hope he has a long and happy retirement. Is it just jealousy that you cannot stand any one making a good job of anything, perhaps because you lot could not reach the same standards even if you were given the chance.
What a load of spitefull idiots you lot are, the man has done a good job and I for one hope he has a long and happy retirement. Is it just jealousy that you cannot stand any one making a good job of anything, perhaps because you lot could not reach the same standards even if you were given the chance. underwater
  • Score: 3

12:39pm Wed 8 May 13

boltonnut says...

I don't particularly like the man but I give him credit ,he was the best at his job in the country.He managed to control super egos as well as a team because he was the ultimate boss,he answered to nobody.
I don't particularly like the man but I give him credit ,he was the best at his job in the country.He managed to control super egos as well as a team because he was the ultimate boss,he answered to nobody. boltonnut
  • Score: 1

1:58pm Wed 8 May 13

mr.mark.c says...

First Thatcher dies, then Sir Alex Ferguson retires...
Somewhere there is a scouser holding a lamp with 1 wish left!
First Thatcher dies, then Sir Alex Ferguson retires... Somewhere there is a scouser holding a lamp with 1 wish left! mr.mark.c
  • Score: 12

3:54pm Wed 8 May 13

Sparkiedog1 says...

Oh No more football junk on the TV
lets see I could go and do instead for the next few weeks of TV
I can watch the lawn grow, watch paint dry, but I guess I will just switch off the TV and read a book while all the Footie followers winge and cry and burst in to tears at the interveiws, oh yes and go positively suicidal when they have a drink this weekend and wreck the town centre

Hes a Guy doing a job all beit overpaid and over exposed for training men to chase a bag of wind up a field and hug and kiss when the hit or miss
Oh No more football junk on the TV lets see I could go and do instead for the next few weeks of TV I can watch the lawn grow, watch paint dry, but I guess I will just switch off the TV and read a book while all the Footie followers winge and cry and burst in to tears at the interveiws, oh yes and go positively suicidal when they have a drink this weekend and wreck the town centre Hes a Guy doing a job all beit overpaid and over exposed for training men to chase a bag of wind up a field and hug and kiss when the hit or miss Sparkiedog1
  • Score: 0

5:36pm Wed 8 May 13

Wigan Trotter says...

Anyone for the poison chalice?
Anyone for the poison chalice? Wigan Trotter
  • Score: 0

5:43pm Wed 8 May 13

Lever-Ender says...

Finally owd Whiskey nose is going to get a watch.....good riddance, maybe just maybe all clubs will be treated the same.....doubt it though
Finally owd Whiskey nose is going to get a watch.....good riddance, maybe just maybe all clubs will be treated the same.....doubt it though Lever-Ender
  • Score: 2

1:07am Thu 9 May 13

wsw69 says...

A certain social network site has been littered and bombarded by saddo Man United fans, as if there is nothing on this planet of ours that matters more.

Alex Ferguson is a rude, ignorant and arrogant being, I can stick him - but I do take my hat off to him for his excellent record of achievements. His shoes are certainly massive ones to follow, ones that I am pleased that I don't have to fill.
A certain social network site has been littered and bombarded by saddo Man United fans, as if there is nothing on this planet of ours that matters more. Alex Ferguson is a rude, ignorant and arrogant being, I can stick him - but I do take my hat off to him for his excellent record of achievements. His shoes are certainly massive ones to follow, ones that I am pleased that I don't have to fill. wsw69
  • Score: 0

1:55am Thu 9 May 13

mr.mark.c says...

I wonder if glory hunter utd will be at the top next year?
Some people need to get a life rather than living and breathing a game, its sad to see people wearing shirts and hats 24/7 shouting Aviiittt when there team wins.
I use team very loose as its all glory hunting and 90% will swap teams if utd have a bad season.
The same as they all supported Liverpool many years ago ;)
I wonder if glory hunter utd will be at the top next year? Some people need to get a life rather than living and breathing a game, its sad to see people wearing shirts and hats 24/7 shouting Aviiittt when there team wins. I use team very loose as its all glory hunting and 90% will swap teams if utd have a bad season. The same as they all supported Liverpool many years ago ;) mr.mark.c
  • Score: 2

10:00am Thu 9 May 13

sense2 says...

What is this story doing being reported on the Bury Times website? Nothing to do with local news the club is in Manchester.
What is this story doing being reported on the Bury Times website? Nothing to do with local news the club is in Manchester. sense2
  • Score: 3

12:08pm Thu 9 May 13

Sparkiedog1 says...

From all the tears and broken men / women alike I have seen both in the street to talk to and on the Dreaded TV reports (which I just cannot avoid no matter how hard I try )
Are you all aware he's just retiring from his job, he has not died a sudden and horrific death, I just can't wait to retire and see if you all give me the same send off,
Grow up its just football. We have far more important things going on in the country that need to be reported on Like Crime, Poverty and starting our economy again,
God forbid if fergie runs for manchester mayor or worse British Politics and PM I am emigrating as far away as possible as soon as possible
From all the tears and broken men / women alike I have seen both in the street to talk to and on the Dreaded TV reports (which I just cannot avoid no matter how hard I try ) Are you all aware he's just retiring from his job, he has not died a sudden and horrific death, I just can't wait to retire and see if you all give me the same send off, Grow up its just football. We have far more important things going on in the country that need to be reported on Like Crime, Poverty and starting our economy again, God forbid if fergie runs for manchester mayor or worse British Politics and PM I am emigrating as far away as possible as soon as possible Sparkiedog1
  • Score: 0

3:42pm Thu 9 May 13

zoomzam says...

Now that the moaner is leaving I wonder if the referees will continue giving United penalties at home......and extra minutes at the end if they are either drawing or losing the match??
Now that the moaner is leaving I wonder if the referees will continue giving United penalties at home......and extra minutes at the end if they are either drawing or losing the match?? zoomzam
  • Score: 2

12:24am Fri 10 May 13

mr.mark.c says...

Since when was Trafford in the city of Manchester ?
Name change to Trafford Rovers is in order.
Since when was Trafford in the city of Manchester ? Name change to Trafford Rovers is in order. mr.mark.c
  • Score: 1

8:13pm Fri 10 May 13

Mike23 says...

I am goin to enjoy seeing the Reds fall apart...'cause they will.
Moyes may be a good gaffer, but he has no Euro experience. Will the likes of van Persie et al really be thrilled at listening to someone who has to be honest, not won much as a manager?
Also, will he really be able to manage Utd hands free or will Fergie be the new waterboy?
First defeat will hurt, the 2nd will cause more problems, the third and its a crisis. The share price will start to drop, Glasers will be sweating, lenders will call for change, the demise will happen.

Hahahaha, bout time it was coming...

Nothing could be sweeter...well it could, Rooney playing at Bolton!
I am goin to enjoy seeing the Reds fall apart...'cause they will. Moyes may be a good gaffer, but he has no Euro experience. Will the likes of van Persie et al really be thrilled at listening to someone who has to be honest, not won much as a manager? Also, will he really be able to manage Utd hands free or will Fergie be the new waterboy? First defeat will hurt, the 2nd will cause more problems, the third and its a crisis. The share price will start to drop, Glasers will be sweating, lenders will call for change, the demise will happen. Hahahaha, bout time it was coming... Nothing could be sweeter...well it could, Rooney playing at Bolton! Mike23
  • Score: 1

9:17am Wed 15 May 13

Darrennz says...

Bit overdue by about 3 years. Old sour grapes will be missed.
Bit overdue by about 3 years. Old sour grapes will be missed. Darrennz
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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