Sir Alex and I have been planning for his retirement, says Man United’s Gill

Manchester United chief executive David Gill says he and Sir Alex Ferguson have been planning for the manager's retirement

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson will retire at the end of the season Photo: The Sport Review

David Gill has revealed he and Sir Alex Ferguson have both been planning for the manager’s retirement by ensuring the Red Devils legend left behind a “first-class” squad.

On Wednesday morning, United confirmed the 71-year-old is set to retire at the end of the season after a decorated 26-year career at Old Trafford.

Ferguson has won 38 trophies, including a 13th Premier League title this season, since replacing Ron Atkinson in 1986, with his current side hailed as one of his best ever.

And United chief executive Gill, who joined the club in 1997, heaped praise on Ferguson for his contribution to the Red Devils and insisted the 20-time English champions have been planning for this momentous day.

“I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of working very closely with Alex for 16 unforgettable years – through the Treble, the double, countless trophy wins and numerous signings,” Gill told United’s website.

“We knew that his retirement would come one day and we both have been planning for it by ensuring the quality of the squad and club structures are in first class condition.

“Alex’s vision, energy and ability have built teams – both on and off the pitch – that his successor can count on as among the best and most loyal in world sport.

“The way he cares for this club, his staff and for the football family in general is something that I admire. It is a side to him that is often hidden from public view but it is something that I have been privileged to witness in the last 16 years.

“What he has done for this club and for the game in general will never be forgotten. It has been the greatest experience of my working life being alongside Alex and a great honour to be able to call him a friend.”

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