Ferguson retires as Man Utd manager

Seventy-one-year old Sir Alex Ferguson to step down at end of season after nearly three decades in the job.

    Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is to retire at the end of the season after nearly 27 years in the job.

    Britain's most successful football manager, the Scot has won 38 trophies during his reign at Old Trafford and will now become a director and ambassador for the club.

    "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," Ferguson said in a statement on Wednesday.

    "The quality of this league-winning squad, and the balance of ages within it, bodes well for continued success at the highest level"

    Alex Ferguson

    "It was important for 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 has guided the team to 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns. 

    Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore said of Ferguson: “The Premier League has had the privilege to witness many great players, managers and teams. No one has made as great a contribution to the Premier League than Sir Alex Ferguson."

    “His drive, ambition, skill, passion and vision have not only shaped Manchester United, but in many ways the game of football as we now know it."

    Tough act to follow

    Sepp Blatter, FIFA president, Tweeted "His achievements in the game place him without doubt as one of the greats. Was (an) honour to present Sir Alex with award at 2011 Ballon D'Or. Will his longevity at the top ever be repeated?"

    Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel said to Sky Sports News: "I can't make sense of the timing. It has come as an absolute bombshell. I'm disappointed and shocked."

    CEO of Sportsmedia, Jonny Gould, told Al Jazeera that Ferguson still being involved in the club could make it difficult for the next manager.

    "I am thinking how difficult it will be for the next guy sitting in the hot seat with that legend sitting upstairs blocking your transfer requests" Gould said.

    "Whoever comes in will have to live with him still being a major figure at United.

    "This retirement has been on the cards for 11 years. He retired 11 years ago but came back after United fell from grace by their own lofty standards.

    "He has dominated English football." 

    United gave no indication of a successor amid speculation Everton's David Moyes could fill the Old Trafford hot seat vacated by fellow Scotsman Ferguson.

    Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, who established a friendly rivalry with Ferguson when in charge of United's rivals Chelsea, has also been touted for the role.

    Ferguson's final game in charge will be against West Bromwich Albion on May 19.

    To read Lee Wellings' blog on the end of an era click here

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera And Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.