Manchester United have confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson‘s 26-year reign will conclude this season, as he steps down from management age 71. He will take on a role as an ambassador and director of the club.
The Scot has been one of, if not the single greatest manager the sport has ever seen since arriving in 1986. He changed the club from a regional giant into a global brand and worldwide force that dominated English football over two decades. He has won United 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, 10 Community Shields, one World Club Cup and two Champions League trophies.
Rumors had been at the highest level in recent years on Tuesday night, with strong speculation that the Scot’s time had come, but the club’s statement on Wednesday confirmed the news that United fans had dreaded, but new would inevitably arrive soon.
The statement included:
“The decision to retire is one that I have thought a great deal about. It is the right time,” Ferguson said. “It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so,”
It could be argued the squad has never been in a better position going forward with, as Ferguson stated himself:
“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.”
It has been undeniably the greatest reign in the modern era, if not ever, with Ferguson rebuilding squads throughout several generations in order to bring success.
It is an emotional time for all United fans, with the fear of the unknown and a club with a different leadership an obvious worry. But it seems also the entire world of football agrees in their respect for the man who for many has been the stand-out figure in European football throughout their lives.
The topic regarding who will replace Ferguson will now begin with David Moyes and Jose Mourinho the stand out candidates. It is expected such a deal would have at the very least already been agreed. Check back on Rant Sports Soccer throughout the day and week to find out more views and news on the situation.
He may have divided opinion at times, but one can fail to salute and acknowledge a true great. Enjoy your retirement, Sir Alex Ferguson — you deserve it.