Sir Alex Ferguson has announced that he will retire from his position as Manchester United manager at the end of this season, after 26 years in charge, which saw him bring 38 trophies to the club, including 13 Premier League titles.
The 71-year-old Scotsman will now take up a position on the clubs board as a director and an ambassador, speaking of his retirement Ferguson said: “The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about. 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.
“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 leaves United as Premier League champions, and as the most successful manager in British football history. Along with his haul of league titles his achievements include five FA Cup wins, and two Champions League triumphs, and a treble win in 1999 which is still unparalleled in the British game.
Before his time in Manchester, Ferguson had spells in charge of Scottish clubs East Stirlingshire, St Mirren and Aberdeen, the latter which he led to 10 trophies during his nine years in charge, including their two continental successes. Manchester United co-chairman Joe Glazer spoke of Ferguson’s decision to step down, saying: “Alex has proven time and time again what a fantastic manager he is, but he’s also a wonderful person. 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 [Champions League winning] night in Moscow.”
David Moyes and Jose Mourinho currently sit as the bookmaker’s favourites to take over the United hot seat, with Moyes’ Everton contract set to expire in the summer, and Mourinho’s future at Real Madrid in considerable doubt.
Finally, Sir Alex Fergus paid tribute to his wife and family, the players which he managed during his tenure, and to the fans, for helping him and the club to achieve such a remarkable amount. He said: “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.
“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.”