x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

David Moyes replaces Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager

Everton head coach will take over at Old Trafford on July 1 after agreeing a six-year contract.

David Moyes, right, could be a worthy successor of fellow Scotsman Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Peter Powell / EPA
David Moyes, right, could be a worthy successor of fellow Scotsman Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. Peter Powell / EPA

David Moyes has declared himself ready to meet the challenge of following the most successful manager English football has ever known.

After two days of intense speculation, Manchester United confirmed yesterday that Moyes will succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager from July 1.

The Scot comes with the support of the man who has just spent almost 27 years as United’s coach and will remain on the club board to offer advice.

Moyes said it was an opportunity he could not turn down.

“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,” he said. “I am really looking forward to taking up the post next season.”

Moyes has been given a six-year contract and he said he was thrilled to have been given the backing of Ferguson to replace him in the position.

“It is a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United,” he said. “I am delighted Sir Alex saw fit to recommend me for the job. I have great respect for everything he has done.”

Ferguson said: “When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes.

“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. There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club.”

Moyes, 50, has the steely glare and Scottish accent of the man he replaces, but none of the trophies. The closest he came to silverware with Everton was the 2009 FA Cup, in which they lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the final having taken a first-minute lead.

Out of contract in the summer, Moyes travelled to London yesterday and informed the Everton chairman Bill Kenwright of United’s interest.

He told Kenwright he would not be extending his stay at Goodison Park beyond the end of this season, given the magnitude of the job he had been offered, before heading to Stamford Bridge to watch Chelsea’s draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

As Chelsea will be the final opponents of Moyes’s tenure at Everton, there was nothing out of the ordinary in that visit.

He was back at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground yesterday to tell his players of his decision, in much the same way Ferguson had done at Carrington 24 hours earlier.

“I had a terrific job at Everton, with a tremendous chairman and board of directors and a great set of players,” Moyes said.

Kenwright paid tribute to Moyes and said he was facing a difficult task finding a replacement.

“Eleven years ago I made a decision and it was an instant decision when I met David, but I don’t think that can happen this time,” he said.

“We have to be very seriously out there looking to see what kind of candidate is out there who can take the club forward.

“It is my job and the club’s job to get a worthy successor and build on what David has brought to the club, and hopefully move on from there.”

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