The official statement to unveil David Moyes as Manchester United manager – and the hidden meanings behind it
Everyone at the club wanted to have a say, but Sam Wallace reveals what their words really meant
It has been more than 26 years since Manchester United last appointed a manager so, when the big moment came this week, it was hardly surprising that everyone wanted their say. On the crowded club statement were Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton, two of the Glazers, the outgoing chief executive David Gill, his successor and, last of all, David Moyes himself.
The managerial succession at the biggest club in the country, following the most famous man in English football was, for more than 10 years, one of the great issues in the game. Who would it be? What were the criteria? Would anyone he blackballed? The statement itself revealed more than expected. Here are the annotated highlights:
Manchester United board unanimously approves the recommendation of Sir Alex Ferguson
[Ferguson was always going to have a big say. But it's bigger than that. He's hand-picked his successor]
Committed to long term in six-year deal
[It is a long deal, although as with Alan Pardew's eight-year contract at Newcastle, it's not the length that is key. It is the size of the compensation if they sack you]
NYSE: MANU, Manchester UK. [as opposed to Manchester, New Hampshire] David Moyes will take over as the manager of Manchester United from the 2013-14 season.
Sir Alex Ferguson:
"When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes. ['I told them who it should be, and fortunately for them they agreed'] 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. [Curiously the job at that time eventually went to Steve McClaren. He went on to Middlesbrough and England. The rest is history] He was a young man then at the start of his career and has since gone on to do a magnificent job at Everton. ['He didn't want to be a No 2'] There is no question he has all the qualities we expect of a manager at this club." [Moyes is criticised for never having won a trophy at Everton. But Ferguson has not allowed himself to be swayed by that]
Sir Bobby Charlton:
"I have always said that we wanted the next manager to be a genuine Manchester United man [Building up for the big hit. Remember it was Charlton who said in December of Jose Mourinho's behaviour: 'A United manager wouldn't do that']. In David Moyes, we have someone who understands the things that make this such a special club. [Ouch, sounds like he has Mourinho on his mind] We have secured a man who is committed to the long term [Which is not Jose's thing either] … stability breeds success. ['We don't want someone who will be prancing off to Paris Saint-Germain in two years' time']
Ed Woodward [The new chief executive who has overseen United's rampant commercial expansion overseas. In terms of deals signed, the corporate equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo]:
"In David Moyes, we have secured the services of an outstanding manager who has all the skills to build on the phenomenal legacy in place. [Moyes and Woodward will have to forge the same partnership as Ferguson and Gill. Their relationship is key] I have no doubt that he will bring an energy and commitment to deliver winning football that is part of the fabric of this club. [He will have to] I have no doubt that he will embrace, and soon become an integral part of, United's unique culture and heritage." ['Which has proved astonishingly lucrative in the emerging markets']
"I am very pleased David has agreed to lead Manchester United into the future. His hard-working style and steely determination are characteristics we value at the club. [Ferguson stoically backed the Glazers in the face of serious hostility from the supporters. No less will be expected from Moyes] … we strongly believe he will be able to take up from where Alex is leaving off by continuing this club's tradition of flair football played by exciting, world-class players." ['All within our budget structure']
"The search for a new manager has been very short. Alex was very clear with his recommendation and we are delighted that David has agreed to accept the job." ['Thank God for that. I'm not sure I could have faced a fact-finding trip to Dortmund']
"I'm delighted that David has agreed to join Manchester United. He has done a terrific job at Everton and has all the qualities that we are looking for in a manager to succeed Alex." [Over to you, Ed. I've managed one of the most difficult characters in the game's history, taken the flak from the fans over the Glazer takeover and we've continued winning trophies. I'll enjoy watching from the directors' box]
"It's a great honour to be asked to be the next manager of Manchester United. 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. [Moyes will never be able to outshine the Ferguson era. But if he can get to a stage where those years are not mentioned to him every five minutes, he will have done well]
"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 is only the eighth permanent post-war United manager. To put that in perspective, there have been 13 Prime Ministers and 12 US Presidents in the same time]
David will be introduced to the world as the manager of Manchester United in due course. ['We're global now']
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