manchester united confirms ferguson's retireme

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    Manchester United confirms Ferguson's retirement
    Updated 4 minutes ago

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    Sir Alex Ferguson is set to retire from Manchester United at the end of this season, bringing an end to one of the most successful managerial careers football has known.

    Alex Ferguson's Man Utd factfile:

    Premier League titles: 13
    Champions League titles: 2
    FA Cups: 5
    League Cups: 4
    Community Shields: 9
    Club World Championships: 2
    Cup Winners Cups: 1
    Grandstand looks back over Alex Ferguson's career.
    Ferguson, 71, has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986, guiding United to 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League crowns.

    "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," he said in a statement released by the club.

    "It was important to me to leave an organisation in the strongest possible shape and I believe I have done so," added Ferguson, who will bow out with United having won this season's Premier League.

    "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.

    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.
    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
    "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."

    The club gave no indication of a successor amid press speculation that Everton's David Moyes could fill the Old Trafford hot seat vacated by fellow Scotsman Ferguson.

    United did say, however, that Ferguson would remain at United as director and official club ambassador.

    His final game in charge will be against West Bromwich Albion on May 19.

    The club's official media Twitter account kept it short but sweet on Wednesday morning (local time).

    Sir Alex Ferguson retires.
    — ManUtd_PressOffice (@ManUtd_PO) May 8, 2013
    Ferguson arrived for work as usual on Wednesday at United's Carrington training complex, south-east of Manchester, but did not speak to a group of waiting journalists.

    British media reports breaking late on Tuesday claimed Ferguson was considering his retirement, sparking furious speculation about the identity of his successor.

    United needed to make a statement about any managerial changes to the New York Stock Exchange, where the club is listed.

    The club recently announced that Ferguson will undergo hip replacement surgery in August, but he has previously insisted that he has had no thoughts of stepping down.

    Writing in the United program prior to Sunday's 1-0 defeat at home to Chelsea in the Premier League, he wrote: "I certainly don't have any plans at the moment to walk away from what I believe will be something special."

    Ferguson previously announced plans to retire in 2001, only to reverse his decision months later.

    He has been at United since November 1986 and is the most successful manager in the history of English football.

    In his time at Old Trafford, he has led the club from the English northwest to 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League Cups, and two Champions League titles, as well as a host of other honours.

    United claimed an unprecedented 20th English league title last month, having narrowly lost out to local rivals Manchester City the previous season.

    During Ferguson's tenure, United has become one of the most famous teams in world sport, with American business magazine Forbes recently reporting the club is worth $3.11 billion.
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