• Premier League

Moyes confirmed as Fergie's United successor

ESPN staff
May 9, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »

David Moyes has been confirmed as Sir Alex Ferguson's successor as Manchester United manager, having agreed a six-year deal with the Premier League champions.

Manchester United confirmed on Thursday that the Everton manager had agreed to take over the helm at Old Trafford on July 1, with the club's board unanimously approving Ferguson's choice of successor.

"It's a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United," Moyes said. "I am delighted that Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done and for the football club.

"I know how hard it will be to follow the best manager ever, but the opportunity to manage Manchester United isn't something that comes around very often and I'm really looking forward to taking up the post next season."

Ferguson believes Moyes will prove a fine successor, saying "there is no question he has all the qualities" required of the role.

"When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes," Ferguson said. "David is a man of great integrity with a strong work ethic.

"I've admired his work for a long time and approached him as far back as 1998 to discuss the position of assistant manager here. He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club."

Ferguson announced on Wednesday that he would retire from management at the end of the season after 26-and-a-half years at Old Trafford. Moyes was immediately installed as favourite to replace him after a flurry of bets.

Out of contract at Goodison Park in the summer, Moyes has consistently led Everton to top half finishes in the Premier League despite operating on a shoestring budget.

The length of Moyes' deal is an indication of United's belief that the 50-year-old will continue Ferguson's trophy-laden work at the club, ensuring a stable transition.

"I have always said that we wanted the next manager to be a genuine Manchester United man. In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club," United director Sir Bobby Charlton added. "We have secured a man who is committed to the long-term and will build teams for the future as well as now. Stability breeds success."

Prior to his confirmation as United's first new manager since November 1986, a statement on Everton's official website confirmed his wish to join the Red Devils.

"Everton can confirm that David Moyes will leave the club at the end of the season," the statement read. "The manager met chairman Bill Kenwright early yesterday evening (Wednesday 8th May) and confirmed his desire to join Manchester United.

"The chairman, on behalf of the club, would like to place on record his thanks to David for the massive contribution he has made to Everton since his arrival in March 2002. He has been an outstanding manager.

"During his tenure at Goodison Park, David has taken charge of the team on over 500 occasions including four European campaigns. His final two games as Everton manager will be the remaining Premier League matches against West Ham United and Chelsea.

"Everton officials will start the search for a replacement manager immediately."

Moyes' last match at Goodison Park as Everton boss comes against West Ham on Sunday before he bows out against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, Swansea's Michael Laudrup and Celtic boss Neil Lennon have already emerged as early candidates to replace him.

A long-time friend of Ferguson, Moyes was a candidate to become his assistant at Old Trafford after Brian Kidd vacated the role to become manager of Blackburn in December 1998.

The two men met to discuss the role, and Moyes - then in charge of Preston - was interested in making the move, but after nearly two months of deliberation Ferguson instead decided to bring in Steve McClaren, then Derby's first-team coach, at the start of February 1999.

Moyes began his managerial career with Preston in 1998, leading the club to the second tier in his second year in charge, before succeeding former Manchester United assistant manager Walter Smith at Goodison Park in 2002.

His time with Everton has not resulted in silverware, but he led the club into the top four in 2005 as well as finishing runners-up in the FA Cup in 2009. He shares with Ferguson the record for LMA Manager of the Year awards, earning the accolade in 2003, 2005 and 2009.

"Everton's fantastic fans have played a big part in making my years at Goodison so enjoyable and I thank them wholeheartedly for the support they have given me and the players," Moyes added. "Everton will be close to me for the rest of my life."

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