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Manchester United release Howard Webb

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Webb in his traditional United colours

Manchester United today announced that they have released Howard Webb from his commitments to the club after he expressed his wish to retire.

“After 11 fantastic trophy-filled years we have reluctantly agreed to part ways,” said Ed Woodward, Manchester United’s chief executive. “We thank Howard for his immense contribution to the success of this club and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.”

Red Devils legend Webb suffered a mixed season last year working with David Moyes, and speculation has been rife about whether he could rediscover his old form with new manager Louis Van Gaal. Webb will now focus on a technical role, which is understood to involve sitting behind a desk and largely doing nothing.

Van Gaal told the press “Howard will go down in our history alongside greats like Sir Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona who have also contributed so much to Manchester United’s success. Of course we are also expecting to see him sitting in the Stretford End during games next season.”

With the transfer window open for another two weeks Van Gaal still has the option of finding a replacement for Webb, but is understood to be considering spending the money on an actual player instead.

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