Manchester - Manchester United on Thursday handed David Moyes one of the most coveted and
toughest jobs in world football - replacing Alex Ferguson as manager of the
20-time English champions.
The 50-year-old Moyes is leaving Everton to replace Ferguson, who announced
on Wednesday that he is retiring after nearly 27 years at Old Trafford.
United said Moyes was given a six-year deal and will take charge of the
newly crowned Premier League champions from July 1.
"It's a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester
United," Moyes said in a statement. "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."
Moyes is replacing the most successful manager in British football history,
with Ferguson producing 13 of United's 20 English titles and a string of other
titles, including three European Cups.
Moyes's arrival should help to ensure a smooth transition between Glaswegian
managers as the 71-year-old Ferguson remains at United as a director.
"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."
The former Celtic player made the transition into management at Preston
North End in 1998 and gained promotion to the League Championship two years
He moved to Everton in 2002 and turned the Merseyside club from a relegation
contender into a regular qualifier for Europe. In 2005, he even guided the club
into the qualifying rounds of the Champions League.
Ferociously ambitious with a keen eye for emerging talent, Moyes has
maintained Everton as a force near the top of the Premier League despite
struggling with a lack of cash to invest in the squad.
"There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager
at this club," Ferguson said.