Man United Alex Ferguson retiring
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Alex Ferguson is retiring at the end of the season, bringing a close to a trophy-filled career of more than 26 years at Manchester United that established him as the most successful coach in British football history.
“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about and one that I have not taken lightly,” the 71-year-old Scotsman said in a statement on Wednesday. “It is the right time.”
The club, which is owned by the American Glazer family and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, did not immediately announce a successor, but will need to act swiftly to stave off any market uncertainty.
Ferguson’s compatriot, Everton manager David Moyes, is out of contract at the end of the season and quickly emerged as the front-runner.
During 11 years at Everton, Moyes has overseen impressive consistency on a limited budget, and has a long-standing friendship with Ferguson.
“He is a first-class manager,” Ferguson, who is being consulted on his successor, said of Moyes last year.
Few managers at United — or anywhere in global football — will come close to matching Ferguson’s achievements.
Since taking charge at Old Trafford in 1986, Ferguson has won a total of 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League championships, two Champions League titles and five FA Cups.
“It was important to me to leave an organization in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so,” Ferguson 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 setup will ensure that the long-term future of the club remains a bright one.”
Ferguson reversed a previous plan to retire at the end of the 2001-02 season.