Sir Alex Ferguson Announces Retirement

Manchester United Press Conference

TKTG brings together all the best articles from around the web on the Manchester United’s groundbreaking announcement that Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to retire at the end of this season.  Having won his 13th Premier League trophy this season and taking his overall tally to 38 trophies for United, Sir Alex leaves behind some very big shoes to fill for the next manager, whomever he may be.

ESPNFC

Manchester United have confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season after winning the club’s 20th league title and will move upstairs to become a director and ambassador.

Ferguson, 71, took charge of United in 1986 and enjoyed a trophy-laden 27 years at the club. United have dominated English football in the Premier League era, winning the title 13 times and also lifting the Champions League in 1999 and 2008.

In addition, he won the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times, plus the FIFA Club World Cup, Intercontinental Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

His final match will be against West Bromwich Albion on May 19, his 1500th game in charge of United.

He won an unprecented 49 trophies in total, the frst coming when St Mirren won the Scottish First Division title in 1976-77. He then moved to Aberdeen and turned the Dons into a European force in the 1980s. There he won three championships, four Scottish FA Cups, the League Cup, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

A statement released to the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning stated: “Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season, Manchester United announced today. 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.”

Announcing his decision to retire, Ferguson spoke of his pride at his achievements at United and also thanked the club for allowing him to rebuild it from top to bottom.

Read the rest of the ESPNFC article.

BBC Sport

Sir Alex Ferguson will step down as Manchester United manager at the end of the season after 26 years in charge.

The Scot, 71, has won 38 trophies for the club and will now become a director and ambassador.

His haul includes 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, 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.

Jose Mourinho has been installed as favourite to take over from Ferguson by bookmakers, with Everton’s David Moyes and Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp also in the running.

Ferguson, who will undergo hip surgery in the summer, is confident his successor will take over a club in good health after winning their 20th top-flight title 17 days ago.

“It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so,” he said.

“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.”

Read the BBC Sport article

ESPNFC Blog:

This is the crisis they knew had to come, destroying the balance they’d kept. 

It always defied logic that Sir Alex Ferguson might go on forever, and it has been apparent since 2002’s change of heart that when the end came it would be sudden. Over 26 years have passed since the man who ended 26 years of Manchester United’s title drought took charge. He has won 13 championships, a return that his successors – and there may be many in that same amount of time – will surely struggle to match. 

If any career needed to go out on a high, it had to be Ferguson’s but the celebration of United’s 13th Premier League will seem unlucky for some; there are many in the Manchester United diaspora who can remember only Ferguson as manager. His waving through of the Glazer family’s ownership may have jaundiced some against him but even those wronged by that public support recognise that the club is still built in Ferguson’s image. 

Those who can remember November 1986 will recall United’s previous status as an ailing aristocrat of the English game, a ‘cup team’ who always flattered to deceive. “’68, ’68, life has never been so great,” was a bittersweet Old Trafford anthem. Until Ferguson flowered, Sir Matt Busby had never been properly replaced. 

Wilf McGuinness, Frank O’Farrell, Tommy Docherty, Dave Sexton and Ron Atkinson is the full list of failed pretenders. Docherty and Atkinson won FA Cups playing entertaining football but United trailed in the wake of all-conquering Liverpool, while provincials Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa became European champions too. United were still the best-supported club in the country but they were flaky and flawed. Busby loomed over his successors, first as general manager, then director before finally becoming president. 

A truly successful United without Busby as manager was unimaginable, and when Ferguson arrived he was just the next pretender, though a man with an already enviable legacy. Before Rangers’ recent fall, smashing Scotland’s Old Firm was an impossibility. Ferguson with Aberdeen was the last man to do it, winning three Scottish titles with a European trophy too. 

United were looking for a football man in the traditions of Busby, or his friends Jock Stein and Bill Shankly. Ferguson was a Stein protege who had worked with the ‘Big Man’ with the Scottish national team until the night of Stein’s death in September 1985. Bobby Charlton, the Busby Babe who followed his old manager onto the United board, championed Ferguson. According to Atkinson, whose ousting left the vacancy Ferguson filled, Charlton and Ferguson formed a lasting alliance at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, months before Atkinson was fired. 

If stability is the foundation of his success at Old Trafford then Ferguson was granted it amid early years of turmoil. The years from November 1986 to May 1990 were a litany of false dawns. United finished runners-up in the 1987-8 season, but were a galaxy behind one of Liverpool’s finest ever teams. An initial wave of ‘Fergie Fledglings’ – Russell Beardsmore, Lee Martin, Tony Gill and David Wilson – faded, and come the summer of 1989 United were yet further behind Liverpool. A 5-1 defeat to Manchester City in September was the nadir, a night where Ferguson admitted he crawled home and placed his head under his pillow, not daring to face an angry public. “3 years of excuses and it’s still crap, tara Fergie,” painted onto a bedsheet, was season-ticket holder Pete Molyneux’s damning summing-up of the Ferguson years during a 2-1 November 1989 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Read the complete article by ESPNFC’s John Brewin

Advertisements

Tags: , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: