Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand, has revealed the sad manner in which he was asked to leave the club toward the end of his deal.
According to the former defender, who spoke recently on the High Performance Podcast, he wasn’t told he was wanted out until the last day of the season, back in 2014.
In his own words, “You normally get an idea on whether you’ll get a new deal or not. Before the last game of the season, Ed Woodward would normally come to you and go ‘we’re not giving you a deal, we know you’re not going sign so look for other options at the end of the season’. I didn’t get either of them.
“Last day of the season after we played Southampton, the game finishes and I come into the changing rooms and the directors always come into the dressing room to shake the lads hands. Ed Woodward came up and sat next to me after the game and told me ‘Listen, we’re not going to renew your deal. Thanks for your services at the club and you’re free to go speak to other clubs about a deal.’ And I was like ‘wow!’
“Even I was surprised by that. Surely you could’ve given me a heads up to have a little bit of a proper goodbye straight to the fans. I did that on a later date. At that moment, I was just numb. Because it was the last day of the season, I thought they’d probably have a deal for me –whether coaching or as a player.
“But that never happened. I wanted to say goodbye to everyone but wasn’t given the time to do that. So that’s what made me started thinking that this place isn’t being run properly, this isn’t how the best team in the land should be doing things,” he concluded.
Surely, if this is what happened, it is very wrong, considering this man is a club legend. But it’s a good thing the treatment from Woodward hasn’t affected the way he feels about the Red Devils, as he still wants what’s best for the club.
As for Woodward, perhaps, this also explains why many things have gone wrong under his watch as the operational head of United.