My Autobiography

By Treadwell, Larry | Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, Fall 2013 | Go to article overview

My Autobiography


Treadwell, Larry, Journal of Multidisciplinary Research


Book Details Ferguson, A. (2013). My autobiography. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 402 pages, paperback, $29.95, ISBN-100340919396. *

Synopsis and Evaluation

It is arguable whether Manchester United is the most successful and storied sports club as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Bayern Munich at times have vied for that honor. In January 2013, Forbes reported that Manchester United had a value of over $3 billion and was the first sports franchise to reach this valuation. In November 2013, Manchester United reported record revenue for its first quarter as the club continues to strive to be the largest, most valuable, and most successful club in the world of sports. While many have contributed to the legend, mystique, and success of Manchester United, one man has been the architect of that success, and he is Sir Alex Ferguson.

No manager in any sport has ever been as successful Sir Alex Ferguson. He began his managerial career in Scotland before moving to Manchester United in 1986 where he remained until 2013. He famously has said that when he arrived at Manchester United, he was there to knock Liverpool off its perch. During his time at Manchester United, he won the Premier League 13 times, the FA Cup 5 times, the League Cup 4 times, The Champion's League 2 times, the Community Shield 9 times, and the Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, European Super Cup, and the European Cup Winner Cup once - totaling 38 pieces of silverware. Under his guidance, he more than knocked Liverpool off its perch: He transformed Manchester United into his own image. He became the most successful manager in history, and Manchester United became the most successful English Club in history.

There have been many iconic names amongst the ranks of U.S. coaches - Phil Jackson, Vince Lombardi, Mike Krzyzewski, Chuck Noll, and Don Shula to name but a few. None of these men has matched Sir Alex Ferguson's longevity, number of wins, and collection of silverware. Neither have they made their respective teams into a global force and brand. The product of a sports franchise is its production on the field. It was his leadership and vision that led to Manchester United's success on the field, and it was this guidance that propelled Manchester United into the global force in business and sport that it is today. This unique level of success and leadership was recognized by the Harvard Business School. In 2013, the Harvard Business School invited Sir Alex Ferguson to participate in lectures on leadership and produced a case study for the education of leaders based on his leadership model of Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013 surprised the sporting world. When he retired, he was amongst the most respected and admired managers to have been involved in any sport. The world may never again see a coach with his charisma, leadership skills, and vision for success. Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography is his story, the story of how he built Manchester United in his image, and how he began his post-playing career from the humble origins of managing in Scotland with East Stirlingshire, while simultaneously running two pubs in the stockyards district of Glasgow. Each step he took built upon his previous success and lessons. From East Stirlingshire, he moved to St. Mirren, and from there to Aberdeen, and from Aberdeen, he was given the task of restoring glory to Manchester United and returning it to its proper place of prominence and dominance amongst the elite clubs in the world. During his time, he led some of the biggest names in sports: Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Jam Staap, and David Beckham. …

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