Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has announced his retirement at the end of the season after 26 years in charge of one of the best clubs in world club football.
“The most successful manager in English football history will bow out after the West Bromwich Albion game on 19 May and join the football club board,” an official press release by the EPL side 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,” the 71 year old Scotsman told the media. “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.”
“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,” he continued. “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.”
“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,” Sir Alex Ferguson signed off.
Manchester United’s CEO David Gill told MUTV: “We have to look forward now and I think any manager coming in will inherit a great squad and great staff around him. It is a dream job. I won’t speculate on the announcement but I think we will move relatively quickly.”
“In Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex we got in managers who got involved in all aspects of the club. That degree of loyalty is crucial to the success of Manchester United. He (the next manager) needs the required football experience in terms of domestic and European requirements, so it is a small pool.”
Sir Alex Ferguson took over at the Manchester club from Ron Atkinson on November 6, 1986 and in over 26 years he won 38 titles. The list includes 13 English Premier League titles, two UEFA Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and five League Cups.