Skip to Main Content
Audience Engagement, Fan Engagement, Media & Tech

Sir Alex Ferguson: The Greatest

 

With Sir Alex Ferguson celebrating his 79th birthday today, we look at the numbers behind the most successful club manager of all time in English top-flight football.

By: Matt Furniss

Sir Alex Ferguson was born on this day 79 years ago. His managerial career lasted an exceptional 39 years, nearly 27 of which came during his tenure at Manchester United. To this day he remains the most successful manager in English top-flight history. Here are the 11 facts to emphasize his greatness.

 


 

Sir Alex Ferguson managed exactly 1500 competitive matches at Manchester United, before retiring in May 2013. 70% of his club games as a manager were at the Red Devils.

 

 

Ferguson won 13 top-flight English league titles as a manager – more than twice as many as any other manager in the history of the league and seven more than his nearest rivals; George Ramsay and Bob Paisley.

 

 

Manchester United have won 20 top-flight league titles in England overall, meaning that 65% of these title wins (13) came under the management of Ferguson.

 

 

Ferguson won 528 games in the Premier League – more than any other manager in the competition. Only Arsene Wenger (828) took charge of more games in the Premier League than the Scottish boss managed (810).

 

 

Of managers to have taken charge of 100+ games in the Premier League, only Pep Guardiola (2.31) has a superior points per game record in the competition than Ferguson (2.16). Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp currently has a matching record (2.16) after 198 games in the Premier League.

 

 

Ferguson won the most Premier League ‘Manager of the Year’ (11) and the most Premier League ‘Manager of the Month’ (27) awards in the competition history.

 

 

Ferguson managed Manchester United against 48 different clubs in league competition during his tenure as Red Devils’ boss and he didn’t fail to win a game against a single one of them.

 

 

His most successful season with the Red Devils came in 1998-99, winning the treble (Premier League, Champions League & FA Cup). That season, Manchester United played 63 games in all competitions and ended the campaign with a 33-game unbeaten run, not losing a single game after Christmas.

 

 

Ryan Giggs was both the youngest and oldest goalscorer for Manchester United under Ferguson. His first goal for the club came in May 1991 against Manchester City in the old English first division (17 years, 156 days old) and his final goal at United came in a Premier League match against QPR in February 2013. Giggs played more games than any other player under Fergie at the club (941), while only Wayne Rooney (197) scored more often than the Welsh winger (168).

 

 

Before taking charge at Manchester United, Ferguson led Aberdeen to three of their four Scottish top-flight league titles (1979/80, 1983/84 & 1984/85) & was the only boss to lead them to European titles; the 1982/83 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup & the 1983 UEFA Super Cup.

 

 

Only Carlo Ancelotti (including one Intertoto Cup win) and Giovanni Trapattoni have won as many UEFA club competition titles as Ferguson did during his managerial career (7).

 

 


Enjoy this? Subscribe to The Analyst to receive five stories each Friday from Stats Perform. It’s free.