Wednesday morning, the football world was stunned by confirmation by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson that he is to step down at the end of the season.

Ferguson, who took over in 1986, is the longest serving manager in the club’s history, will take charge of his final home game this Sunday against Swansea, ahead of his final game in charge at West Brom on May 19th.

The decision comes two weeks after the Scot, 71, led his team to their 13th Premier League trophy, wrestling it back from their close rivals Manchester City.

Alongside his 13 Premier League trophies, Sir Alex has guided United to two European Cups, five FA Cups, four League Cups, a Cup Winners’ Cup and ten Community Shields.

Ferguson was knighted in 1999 after what was perhaps the greatest season in his career as manager, leading United to a treble, their first, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and, in remarkable circumstances, the European Cup too.

As his almost 27 year reign comes to an end, Ferguson, who faces hip surgery this summer, will remain at Old Trafford as both a Director and as an Ambassador.

In a statement published on the Manchester United website (which can be viewed in its entirety here), Ferguson 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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

The crazy world of football does not rest however, and twenty four hours later, on Thursday, David Moyes was confirmed as the new Manchester United manager.


A Scot like Ferguson, Moyes emerged as the frontrunner to the United job almost as soon as Ferguson announced his retirement.

Moyes appears to be the ideal candidate for the job, having shown his longevity for a club after spending over a decade in charge of Everton, and leading them consistently to European competitions despite a strict budget.

Moyes released a short statement after being confirmed as the next United manager, stating “I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the football club.”

Sir Alex Ferguson was already full of praise for his successor, saying “David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic. I’ve admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club.”

Moyes signs on a six-year deal after his appointment was personally recommended by Sir Alex Ferguson, and will take the reins at Old Trafford on July 1.

A full statement on the appointment of Moyes from the Manchester United website can be read here.