Holland 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. Press Association Sport understands the United board first discussed the possibility of getting rid of Moyes on Sunday night following the team’s 11th defeat of the season at Everton. On Monday the board, which includes Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, decided Moyes should be sacked and he was summoned to the AON Training Complex the following morning to be dismissed. Although Ferguson was responsible for appointing Moyes, he will play a part in choosing his compatriot’s successor, although this time he will not be the sole man responsible. 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. The United board will back their new manager in the transfer market, with the £150million kitty promised to Moyes still available. Ryan Giggs will take care of the team “until a permanent appointment can be made,” United said. Press Association Sport understands Giggs will not be considered as a full-time replacement, but they hope United’s most-decorated player will become part of the new manager’s backroom staff. For the final four games of the season, Giggs will be assisted by Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Chris Woods – the latter two keeping their jobs despite being brought in by Moyes. Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden were also brought in by the Scot but they have been fired. 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. Fans and shareholders widely backed Moyes’ dismissal, although former captain Roy Keane said the players should take a large portion of the blame. “Some of the players should be ashamed of themselves,” Keane told ITV1. On Tuesday evening the club’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange climbed sharply to its highest point since Ferguson’s retirement last May. Moyes is locked in discussions with his former employers about a severance package, with some estimates stating such negotiations could take up to two weeks. The Scot left United seventh in the Barclays Premier League, some 23 points behind leaders Liverpool. Sir Alex Ferguson will be asked for his view on who should replace David Moyes as manager of Manchester United. Ferguson, a director at the Old Trafford club who hand-picked the former Everton boss as his successor last year, will be able to express his opinion along with every member of the Manchester United board. And whoever takes over from the Scot will be given significant funds to rebuild the squad, sources said. Press Association
(Source: Olympic.org) East German ice skating star Katarina Witt was crowned the queen of figure skating and catapulted to worldwide fame at the Sarajevo Games in 1984, after winning her duel with American rival Rosalyn Sumners. Witt had been groomed for Olympic glory from a young age by her formidable coach Jutta Muller, and her talent quickly blossomed, thanks to her relentless training programme – seven hours per day, six days a week – allied to her natural ability.She won her first national title at the age of 15, in 1980, and then took the European silver medal two years later, before finally winning the first of six successive golds in 1983.Meanwhile, on the other side of the Iron Curtain, Sumners was developing an almost eerily parallel career, and was world champion by the time Sarajevo came around. Also competing for the US was the 1982 world champion Elaine Zayak. The stage was set in Yugoslavia for a classic Olympic sporting showdown.The competition in the Zetra Arena came to a climax with the free programme, worth 50 per cent of the total score. Witt, an instinctive, elegant skater whose style has been described as “poetry in motion,” snatched victory from Sumners, the favourite, who held back on two of her triple jumps.Witt’s boldness paid off, as she captured the imagination of the judges, six of whom gave her first-places, and won gold by the slimmest of margins. After her triumph the young, beautiful doyenne of the ice reportedly received more than one million letters from adoring fans – which perhaps inspired her to win her first world championship title that same year.