Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has shocked the world of football after Manchester United announced that Ferguson will retire at the end of the season after a stunning 39-year managerial career. Although the Scot, who has become the most successful manager in British football, will stay at United as a director and ambassador, he will leave behind one of the most successful managerial career’s ever.
Ferguson’s last competitive match as a manager will be played against West Bromwich Albion on May 19th, his 1500th game for United. The 71-year-old took the reigns at United in 1986, and went on to stay at United for another 27 trophy-laden years. United won an astounding 38 trophies during Ferguson’s reign, which will be an almost impossible feat to match by Ferguson’s replacement, who is set to be Everton manager David Moyes.
Sir Alex is set to have hip surgery done over the summer, which partly resulted in Ferguson’s decision to retire. Manchester United’s stock (MANU) suffered a drop of 4.7% following Ferguson’s retirement, and fans have flooded Twitter with their massages to Ferguson.
The bosses work ethic, his desire to win + to make us better players were unrivalled. Thanks boss.
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) May 8, 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson retires. #thankyousiralex
— ManUtd_PressOffice (@ManUtd_PO) May 8, 2013
Ferguson spoke of his delight at his achievements at United during his tenure there, also thanking 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. “It was important to me to leave an organization 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.
“Our training facilities are amongst the finest in global sport and our home Old Trafford is rightfully regarded as one of the leading venues in the world. Going forward, I am delighted to take on the roles of both director and ambassador for the club. With these activities, along with my many other interests, I am looking forward to the future. I must pay tribute to my family, their love and support has been essential. My wife Cathy has been the key figure throughout my career, providing a bedrock of both stability and encouragement. Words are not enough to express what this has meant to me.
“As for my players and staff, past and present, I would like to thank them all for a staggering level of professional conduct and dedication that has helped to deliver so many memorable triumphs. Without their contribution the history of this great club would not be as rich. 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.
“Over the past decade, the Glazer family have provided me with the platform to manage Manchester United to the best of my ability and I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with a talented and trustworthy chief executive in David Gill. I am truly grateful to all of them.
“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.”
It is understood Ferguson announced his retirement to the United players after arriving at trainging ground Carrington on Wednesday morning and gathering the players. After an emotional speech announcing his retirement, Ferguson took his backroom staff aside to tell each of them of his decision to retire, before addressing the rest off the United staff.
Ferguson won his 13th Premier League trophy with United earlier this year, which will be the last of his career with United, spanning nearly 27 years.