DETHRONED Sir Alex Ferguson congratulated rival Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti after being forced to hand over the Premier League trophy on an afternoon of anti-Glazer protests at Old Trafford.
Chelsea’s victory over Wigan at Stamford Bridge denied United a fourth successive title, although Ferguson’s men did their bit with a thumping victory over Stoke.
But the day was marred by angry scenes before kick-off and at half-time with fans demonstrating against the ownership of the club.
It was also soured by an injury scare to star striker Wayne Rooney, who aggravated his groin injury late on, although United are confident it would not affect his chances of playing in the World Cup with England.
Goals from Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs, a Danny Higgingbottom own goal and Park Ji-Sung, clinched a comfortable final day victory for United, although events at Stamford Bridge sealed their fate.
“I am not going to agonise about where it all went wrong,” a gracious Ferguson said. “We applaud Chelsea winning the title and I applaud Carlo Ancelotti. We know how hard it is to win the league.
“We can be proud. We have challenged very strongly for a fourth title in a row and have taken it to the wire. The European Cup was the biggest disappointment. We should be in the final. But next season we will go again and hopefully we will bring back the title to the best place in the world.”
Of Rooney’s injury, Ferguson added: “He has aggravated his groin again. I don’t think it is serious. I think he will be OK for England.”