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The Premier League chief executive feels that the 71-year-old is synonymous with English football, while FA Chairman David Bernstein praises the Scot's "truly remarkable" tenure

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has praised the "unbelievable impression" that Sir Alex Ferguson has made on English football after the Manchester United manager announced his decision to retire at the end of the season on Wednesday.

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The 71-year-old has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986 - before the inception of the Premier League in 1992 - going on to win the domestic title a record 13 times.

Scudamore believes that "nobody has been a bigger star" than the Scot, whom he describes as synonymous with the Premier League.

"The Premier League only started in 1992 and its absolute leading club and standard-bearer has been Manchester United," he told Sky Sports News. "When you look at football, it's about players, it's about managers, it's about individuals but nobody has been a bigger star on our stage than Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It's an unbelievable impression that he's made on those 21 years and you can't talk about the Premier League without talking about Sir Alex Ferguson."

Scudamore admits that he is shocked at the timing of the 71-year-old's announcement but feels that the opportunity that Sir Alex has left to carry on his legacy can only be a positive thing for English football.

"I'm very shocked and very surprised. It's one of those things you know is going to happen someday but you never really expect it," he continued.

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"[The Premier League] has been a better place for having Sir Alex as a part of it. Nobody goes on forever and he couldn't. He more than anyone will acknowledge that English football will carry on growing and that Manchester United will continue to be a fantastic football club.

"It's a huge gap and a huge role to fill. It's not a question of Sir Alex's shadow being over the club; his whole legacy makes it a huge opportunity for somebody."

Meanwhile, FA Chairman David Bernstein lavished similar praise on Sir Alex, describing him as "one of the greatest managers of all time."

An FA statement from Bernstein said: "Sir Alex Ferguson's achievements are truly remarkable – he is genuinely one of the greatest managers of all time and certainly of the modern era.

"His contribution to English football has been outstanding in every regard and, in the FA's 150th year, it is something that should be celebrated. On behalf of the FA I'd like to wish him a happy and healthy retirement."

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