Wednesday, February 5, 2014

5 February 2002 - Fergie Time Takes Effect

On 5 February 2002, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson announced that he had changed his mind about retiring at the end of the season and ended up staying with the club for another eleven years.

When he took charge of the club in November 1986, they were sitting twenty-first out of twenty-two teams in the top flight and had gone without a league title since 1967 (though they won the FA Cup in 1985). Ferguson quickly turned their fortunes around, winning the league seven times between 1993 and 2001, as well as four FA Cups and the 1999 Champions League trophy (part of a treble that year).

In May 2001, at the age of 59, he announced his intent to retire. The decision came after disagreements with United's board of directors over his compensation, but he also cited concerns about his health. Subsequent negotiations with the board postponed his departure until the end of the 2001-02 season.

But by the end of December 2001, he had changed his mind. He opened new contract discussions with the board while keeping his change of heart a secret from the team and the public. Then, in February 2002, he informed United's players that he was staying.

He remained with the club until the end of the 2012-13 season, collecting another six league titles, another FA Cup, and another Champions League trophy.

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