United break silence on van Gaal dismissal
MANCHESTER United have broken their silence on the sacking of manager Louis van Gaal, but have made no official reference to speculation over the imminent appointment of his replacement Jose Mourinho.
In a statement posted on the club’s website at 8.30pm last night, executive vice chairman Ed Woodward confirmed the dismissal of the Dutchman – 48 hours after United lifted the FA Cup at Wembley.
It said: “I would like to thank Louis and his staff for their excellent work in the past two years culminating in winning a record equalling 12th FA Cup for the Club (and securing him a title in four different countries).
“He has behaved with great professionalism and dignity throughout his time here. He leaves us with a legacy of having given several young players the confidence to show their ability on the highest stage. Everyone at the Club wishes him all the best in the future.”
The club said decision on van Gaal’s successor would be announced soon.
In his statement, van Gaal said: “It has been an honour to manage such a magnificent club as Manchester United FC, and in doing so, I have fulfilled a long held ambition.
“I am immensely proud to have helped Manchester United win the FA Cup for the 12th time in the Club’s history. I have been privileged during my management career to have won 20 trophies but winning the FA Cup, which is steeped in so much history, will always be one of the most special achievements of my career.
“I am very disappointed to be unable to complete our intended three-year plan. I believe that the foundations are firmly in place to enable the club to move forward and achieve even greater success.
“I hope that winning the FA Cup will give the club a platform to build upon next season to restore the success that this passionate set of fans desire.
“Having managed in Holland, Spain and Germany, I had always hoped for the opportunity to manage in English football and be part of English culture. Both of these experiences have lived up to expectations and been fantastic.
“I thank my players and wish them well for next season. It has been a pleasure to work with them and it has been particularly rewarding to see so many young players take their chance to break into the first team and excel. I look forward to watching the continued development of these young players next season.
“Thank you to the owners and board of Manchester United for giving me the opportunity to manage this great Club.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to the amazing United supporters. They are truly the best fans in the world.
“I am indebted to my support and coaching staff, who have given me their all during their time at the club.
“Finally, my special thanks go to Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton for always making me and my family feel so welcome throughout my time as Manchester United manager.”