|Sir Alex Ferguson|
They lost 2-1 to Basel and now face taking part in the Europa league, the equivalent of the bush leagues.
The loss calls into question the future of Sir Alex Ferguson who has reached the age where most managers have long since gone to some quiet place.
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This loss will confront Ferguson with the reality that he has a huge uphill task to rebuild this United team where newcomers have never replaced the now departed Ronaldo and Beckham.
It may well be a good time to quit while he is still ahead and the glory days still outnumber nights like last night.
On the domestic scene this United team will have great difficulty catching Manchester City and it would be rough indeed for Ferguson to see the premiership pass to his arch crosstown rivals.
There may never be a better time for Sir Alex to say goodbye than in the aftermath of this defeat.