Legendary managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger have today been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo created a remarkable legacy with Manchester United and Arsenal respectively, winning a combined 16 Premier League titles as they established one of the most famed rivalries in the League’s history.
The Hall of Fame recognises and celebrates individuals who have an exceptional record of success and have made a significant contribution to the Premier League since its inception in 1992. It is the highest individual honour awarded by the League.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the most successful manager in Premier League history, with a record 13 titles, including winning the title for an unprecedented three seasons in a row on two separate occasions.
During an incredible 27-year career at Old Trafford, which incorporated 21 Premier League seasons, his Manchester United side won the inaugural Premier League title in 1992/93 to deliver the Red Devils’ first league success since 1967 and kickstart a remarkable era of success.
Renowned for his motivational leadership, Sir Alex set impeccably high standards in a systematic pursuit of success. During his glittering tenure, the squad was entirely rebuilt several times, including a commitment to nurturing prodigious homegrown talents, notably the “Class of ’92”, along with a plethora of international superstars. He finished his career at the Red Devils with a final Premier League title in 2012/13.
Six players managed by Ferguson have already been inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame: David Beckham, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel and Paul Scholes.
Sir Alex’s all-time Premier League record stands at 528 wins from 810 matches and 1,752 points accumulated. He was named manager of the season 11 times and collected the Manager of the Month award on 27 occasions.
Sir Alex Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsène is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Arsène Wenger’s 22 seasons in charge of Arsenal is a Premier League record. He won the Premier League three times and made history in 2003/04 as "The Invincibles" became the only team to win the title while remaining unbeaten throughout the entire campaign.
Arriving as one of the first foreign managers in the Premier League in 1996, Wenger’s impact was instantaneous and remarkable. He raised standards through a revolutionary football philosophy and commitment to playing attractive, attacking football, winning the title in 1997/98, his first full season with the club.
Wenger oversaw an astute transfer strategy, including scouting abroad for talent, which notably brought about the signings of fellow Hall of Fame members Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira.
Wenger has managed a record 828 Premier League matches, including 476 wins and 199 draws. He was voted Manager of the Season in 1998, 2002 and 2004.
Arsène Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
A shortlist of 15 former players eligible to join the Premier League Hall of Fame in 2023 will be announced tomorrow [Thursday 30 March] at 10am. Fans will be invited to help select three further inductees who will join the 16 players already in the Hall of Fame.
Voting will take place at www.premierleague.com/halloffame and on the official Premier League app until 6pm (UK time) on Monday 10 April.
This year’s inductees will be formally honoured at a Premier League Hall of Fame event in May. All inductees receive a medallion engraved with their name and the year of their induction, along with a £10,000 donation made by the Premier League to a charity of their choice.