Alex Ferguson insists it is “nonsense” to suggest the correct processes were not followed prior to the ill-fated appointment of David Moyes as his Manchester United successor.
Moyes took charge of the Red Devils in the summer of 2013 as defending Premier League champions following Ferguson’s retirement.
However, by April of this year he had been sacked after a disastrous campaign which saw United miss out on a place in European competition.
It had been widely thought that Ferguson had hand-picked Moyes as the man to replace him at Old Trafford, but in excerpts of his updated autobiography published in The Guardian, he is at pains to point out that was not the case, and that it was a club decision.
“There appears to be an accepted view out there that there was no process. Nonsense,” he writes.
“We feel we did everything the right way: quietly, thoroughly, professionally.”
Ferguson also writes about how, as results continued to go against Moyes, he felt “the walls squeezing in” on the new man, which reminded him of his own early struggles at United in the late 1980s prior to the glory years which followed over the next two decades.
“As the results deteriorated, each defeat was a hammer blow to him,” Ferguson recalled.
“I could see that in his demeanour. In January we bought Juan Mata and that gave everyone a lift but I could see the walls squeezing in, leaving David with less and less room to breathe. I know that feeling from 1989, when we went through a terrible spell.
“You feel you are being crushed. The results gnawed away at David. Nobody could dispute how disappointing the season was. And it cost a man his job.”
Ferguson also claims that Moyes “had not realised just how big United is as a club” and claimed Moyes’ United played at a slow tempo which ran counter to the philosophy which had brought Ferguson so much success.
Ferguson writes: “The reason for playing at speed was that United players had been accustomed to operating that way.
“If the tempo slowed for any reason, I would be into them at half-time. ’This is not us,’ I would say.
“Playing with speed never hindered our results. It was our way: energy and determination in the last third of the pitch.”
Ferguson also questioned Moyes’ decision to clear out the backroom staff at United, such as Ferguson’s long-time assistant Mike Phelan, and bring in his own people.
“Maybe David felt that at such a massive club he had to be sure that all corners were covered in terms of his support system. I felt that network was already there, with plenty of great people already in important slots,” he added.
Ferguson also defends the quality of the squad he left behind, and the general infrastructure at the club.
“Antiquated was a bizarre description of the structure I left behind at Manchester United. Have you seen our new training ground?” he writes.