Fergie to retire?

Sir Alex Ferguson considering retiring as Manchester United manager before end of the week



As of Tuesday night, no statement over Ferguson’s future had been issued by United.

However, with sources close to the players confirming that the squad’s golf day had been overshadowed by suggestions that the Scot would be making an announcement ahead of Sunday’s clash with Swansea at Old Trafford, any ongoing uncertainty is unlikely to be allowed to continue to the point where it would affect the confidence of investors and, in turn, United’s New York share price.

Ferguson said: “This team of champions is not going away – we are here for the long ride.

“We will get better and if we apply ourselves in our normal fashion, I see our 20th league title as nothing but the start of another decade of success.

“Whether I will be here to oversee another decade of success remains to be seen, but I certainly don’t have any plans at the moment to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around to see.”

However, having always cited his health as the primary factor in any decision to retire, the club’s confirmation on Friday evening that Ferguson – who had a heart pacemaker fitted in 2004 – would undergo hip surgery in August, two weeks before the start of the new season, raised fresh doubt over his determination to continue in the post.

With large amounts of money wagered on Tuesday morning on Everton manager David Moyes leaving Goodison Park for Old Trafford this summer, bookmakers dramatically cut the odds on the 50-year-old due to intelligence that bets had been placed on the basis of strong information.

Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid coach, is likely to become available this summer. (Ed’s note: Does Mourinho want to get fired?)

Ferguson has repeatedly dampened down retirement speculation ever since he performed an about-turn on plans to walk away from United at the end of the 2001-02 season.

He has since admitted that his decision to go public with his intentions was an ‘absolute disaster,’ and vowed that he would not make a similar mistake when he chooses to leave the club, having arrived as successor to Ron Atkinson in November 1986.

Whether Ferguson would remain at Old Trafford in a senior capacity should he retire could present a thorny issue for any incoming manager, with Sir Matt Busby’s elevation to an ‘upstairs’ role following his retirement in 1969 ultimately proving a distraction to his initial successors.

And although he has admitted his disappointment at failing to win more than two European Cups during his time at United, the ability to walk away from Old Trafford having restored the club’s dominance, both locally and nationally, has given Ferguson the opportunity to leave on a high.

Read the whole article on why Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United future was shrouded in doubt on Tuesday night with the Scot understood to be giving serious consideration to ending his 26-year reign as manager.


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