Sir Alex Ferguson will end his tenure as Manchester United manager at the end of the season after twenty-six years in charge.
Ferguson aged 71, has collected 38 trophies during his reign at Old Trafford and will now become a director and ambassador for the club. The announcement comes just under three weeks after leading The Red Devils to their 20th league championship.
His collection includes 13 league titles, two UEFA Champions League trophies, five FA Cups and four League Cups.
“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about. It is the right time,” Ferguson said.
The bookmakers favourite to replace Ferguson is fellow Scot David Moyes, manager at Everton but former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, currently at Real Madrid, is also in the running.
Ferguson said in his statement this morning: “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 praised all the personalities that he felt helped him build Manchester United from a team that had not won a title for 26 years into one of the biggest clubs in the world.
He added: “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.
“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.”
Ferguson now has two matches left, home to Swansea this Sunday and away to West Brom on the 19th May. The visit to West Brom will be Ferguson’s 1500th match in charge at the club.
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