His designated successor, David Moyes, is the best available choice. He's a Scot, like Ferguson, the manager of Everton, about 30 miles away by car, in Liverpool. Moyes is known for getting the most out of a thin budget, often signing ManU retreads like defender Phil Neville and American goalie Tim Howard. He's also the man who sold Manchester United star Wayne Rooney to SAF a decade ago, Fergie's favorite player, a scorer who does the hard work, or "graft," all across the field or "pitch." The controlling shareholder is Malcolm Glazer, an American who also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL. When Glazer bought the team, in 2005, for 800 million pounds, he took out the cash and loaded it with debt, essentially buying it with its own money. Then he brought it to the New York Stock Exchange, where it's worth nearly $3 billion, by far the richest club in world sport.
Stock in Manchester United ( MANU) fell nearly $1/share on news of Ferguson's departure, but has since recovered almost a third of that loss. For the quarter ending in December it had revenue of 110 million pounds, about $175 million, bringing about 16% of that to the bottom line. It carries 350 million pounds of debt, over $500 million, all incurred by the Glazers, who have made the biggest score in sporting history with the team. It's all down to Ferguson, who managed his last home game last week before over the usual sellout crowd of over 75,000. It was a 2-1 win against Swansea City, a team from Wales, and at Killarney's there were victory shots all around, doubtless mixed with a few tears. At the time of publication, the author had only a rooting interest in the company mentioned here. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.