从教27年的传奇教练弗格森将于本周辞职 - By Simon Jones, Ian Ladyman and Neil Ashton(8 May 2013)
- Strong rumours that the 71-year-old will step down this week
- Sir Alex has won 13 Premier League titles during his United reign
- He has also won five FA Cup and four League Cups for the Old Trafford club
- His side won the European Champions League in 1999 and 2008
- David Moyes, Ryan Giggs and Jose Mourinho tipped to replace him
Speculation continues to mount that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could be set to announce his retirement from the club today after 27 years in charge.
The 71-year-old clinched his 13th Premier League title with the club last month, but rumours have suggested that Sunday's game against Swansea, when the club are presented with their trophy, could be his last hurrah.
The club have so far refused to confirm or deny the rumours, but are expected to make a statement today.
As the club is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, any significant information which affects the running of the club must be released.
Speculation: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could step down after 26 years in charge of the club and 13 Premier League title wins
Cheerful: Ferguson in the Ibrox directors' box at the Rangers v Man United legends match this week (above and below right), and popping a cork in celebration after clinching yet another Premier league crown last month
Sir Alex had vowed to carry on 'indefinitely' in programme notes written before Sunday's defeat against Chelsea.
But already speculation is mounting as to who could replace the most successful manager in British football history.
Talks are underway to find a replacement and Everton manager David Moyes is among the frontrunners.
It had been rumoured that Moyes would initially join the club as understudy to Ferguson for a season before taking over the reigns full time.
But talks of that set up being in place at the club in time for next season now look to have been premature.
Other big names thought to be in the running include Real Madrid manager and former Chelsea favourite Jose Mourinho.
The self-proclaimed 'special one' has been widely tipped to join Chelsea, but could be set to rethink those plans.
Long-serving Manchester United star Ryan Giggs has also been linked with the role.
With United now forced to adhere to the strict rules and regulations of the New York Stock Exchange - which opens at 2.30pm UK time - over the release of significant information relating to the running of the club, any change of management would fall within those requirements.
Last night officials at
Old Trafford were not even taking calls from journalists amid a frenzy
of speculation over their manager’s future.
Ferguson is expected at Chester Races today for a planned day out with some of United’s players.
Rumours began to circulate on Tuesday
among United’s players and coaching staff, who were involved in a golf
match at Dunham Forest in Cheshire.
It is believed they were told to expect an announcement on Ferguson’s future, while MUTV, the club’s in-house TV station, are also primed to broadcast a major development on Sunday.
Moyes was at Goodison Park on Tuesday night to watch Everton defeat Newcastle in the Under 21s Premier League.
The 50-year-old Scot is out of contract this summer but has refused to discuss his future publicly, insisting only that he would weigh up his options at the end of the season.
United’s final match of the season, at West Bromwich Albion on May 19, will be the 1,500th of Ferguson’s tenure as manager.
Having always cited his health as the primary factor in any decision to retire, the club’s confirmation last Friday evening that Ferguson, who had a heart pacemaker fitted in 2004, would undergo hip surgery in August raised fresh doubt over his determination to continue in the post.
The developments came on the back of
fevered and persistent betting this week that British football’s most
successful manager may be ready to step aside.
There were suggestions that Moyes would join United as Ferguson’s No 2 for a season before taking charge, while the odds were slashed on Jose Mourinho leaving Real Madrid for Old Trafford.
Replacement? David Moyes is among the frontrunners to succeed Ferguson - and should they work together, here's how the pair would look in our mocked-up image
That's handy: Everton boss Moyes is leading the betting to replace Ferguson at Old Trafford
Many people inside football — including two Premier League managers — have suggested privately this season that Ferguson would have stepped aside had United not lost last season’s Premier League title race to Manchester City on the last kick of the campaign. That has never been confirmed by United but it is thought Ferguson broke the news to his wife, Cath, that he had to shelve plans to retire within hours of City snatching the title.
There were also suggestions that
Ferguson’s brother Martin may be standing aside from his scouting
duties. Of similar significance was the decision by David Gill —
Ferguson’s closest ally — to step down as chief executive at the end of
this season. But it has emerged United were preparing to make a more
At the weekend, Ferguson suggested in his programme notes he would be around at Old Trafford next season.
Conquering Europe: Fergie lifts the Champions League trophy in Moscow in 2008
Double top: Fergie, holding a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, with David
Beckham at SPOTY in 2001
‘I don’t have any plans at the moment
to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth
being around to see,’ he said.
‘It’s always difficult in football to be absolutely sure of the future because the game has a habit of tripping you up, but I don’t live in a fantasy world and believe we have every reason to feel confident about the future of Manchester United. My view stems not from the euphoria of winning back the title we lost last season, but on the way we did it and the make-up of our playing personnel.’
FERGIE'S FABULOUS 49
Sir Alex Ferguson has won 49 trophies in the most successful managerial career Britain has ever known.
Scottish First Division (1): 1976-77.
Scottish Premier Division (3): 1979-80, 1983-84, 1984-85.
Scottish Cup (4): 1981-82, 1982-83, 1983-84, 1985-86.
Scottish League Cup (1): 1985-86.
European Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1982-83.
European Super Cup (1): 1983.
Premier League (13): 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13.
FA Cup (5): 1989-90, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1998-99, 2003-04.
League Cup (4): 1991-92, 2005-06, 2008-09, 2009-10.
Charity/Community Shield (10): 1990 (shared), 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011.
Champions League (2): 1998-99, 2007-08.
European Cup Winners' Cup (1): 1990-91.
European Super Cup (1): 1991.
Intercontinental Cup (1): 1999.
FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2008.