REPEATING THE SAME MISTAKE?
Ferguson hand-picked the former Everton boss as his successor last year, and while he will not get to anoint the next manager personally this time around he will play a part in choosing his compatriot's successor.
Sources at United said that whoever takes over will be given significant funds to rebuild the squad, with the £150million kitty promised to Moyes still available.
Moyes was fired on Tuesday morning, and by the evening the club's share price on the New York Stock Exchange climbed sharply to its highest point since Ferguson's retirement last May.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal emerged as the early front-runner to succeed Moyes, whose 10-month reign came to an end on Tuesday when he was fired following a meeting with vice-chairman Ed Woodward at Carrington.
United are looking to appoint an experienced manager who has a history of signing top-class players and managing them. For that reason, the club are known to be interested in Van Gaal, who has won titles in Spain and Germany. The 62-year-old also won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995.
The Dutchman has made it clear he wants to move to England when his contract expires at the end of the World Cup.
Another potential candidate, according to reports, is Carlo Ancelotti, whose position at Real Madrid could be in jeopardy if the Italian fails to win either the Spanish league or the Champions League.
One United source said the board started worrying about Moyes' capabilities during the 2-0 defeat to Olympiacos.
"The players didn't look up for it," the source said. Once more "lacklustre" performances followed, the source added, Moyes had to go.
Throughout his time as United manager Ferguson always made mistakes, particularly in the transfer market - but he usually put them right. So it makes complete sense for the Scot to be consulted about who to turn to next - and the fact that this time, he will have his say along with the rest of the board should stop him from making the sentimental mistake he made this time last year. The problem with Moyes is that he was chosen as the nearest available approximation for the Alex Ferguson of 1986, when the problem that United faced was how to turn a failing club into a success. If that had been the problem for Moyes in 2013-14, he might have done a reasonable job; but the challenges he faced were completely different, and he was a disastrous choice to run one of the biggest sports clubs in the world. United's chiefs will not fall into the same trap again.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
United are expected to begin negotiations with Van Gaal in the coming weeks, but the idea of Ancelotti coming on board could be even more attractive. A report emerging from France last summer claimed that the Italian was actually Ferguson's first choice last time around, but that he turned down the job in order to move to Real Madrid. It is not unreasonable to expect trigger happy Real to axe Ancelotti should he fail to win either La Liga or the Champions League, which could leave United spoilt for their choice of Champions League-winning managers.
WHAT THE MEDIA SAY
Daniel Taylor, The Guardian: It has been made clear that the final say this time will belong to Woodward, supported by the United's American directors, rather than the most successful manager in the club's history. Ferguson will, however, still be an influential voice because the club consider it would be foolish to discount him, even though there is now an acceptance at boardroom level that he made a serious error of judgment choosing Moyes last year when José Mourinho was available... United now privately accept it was a mistake bringing in someone with Moyes' inexperience and believe it is mandatory the next manager has worked at the highest level.
Mark Ogden, Daily Telegraph: Ferguson, who has been criticised by supporters for anointing Moyes as his successor last May, will play a central role in helping executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward identify the new manager... United remain determined to recruit a proven manager with experience of winning major trophies.
WHAT THE FANS SAY
Bazooka Joe (Eurosport-Yahoo! reader): Fergie gave his blessing, Fergie to be consulted again - he's poisoning the club and destroying everything he created!! Long may it last!!!!!
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- Alex Ferguson
- Ed Woodward
- Carlo Ancelotti