David Moyes takes swipe at Ed Woodward and recalls Sir Alex promise
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Former Manchester United manager David Moyes has recalled a promise Sir Alex Ferguson made him keep after choosing him as his successor at Old Trafford. And he has called out the club’s former chief executive Ed Woodward for the manner of his sacking less than a year later.
Moyes left Everton for United in May 2013 as Ferguson guided the Red Devils to their 20th English title.
During an appearance on ‘The Diary of a CEO’ podcast, the Scot told businessman Steven Bartlett about the day he learned he was chosen to replace the legendary boss.
And he revealed that Ferguson made him promise not to say a word to anyone other than his wife because no one else knew.
He said: “I drove out to Sir Alex’s house, and I went in. Very nice house with a sports room upstairs, and he asked me if I wanted a cup of tea and took me up.
“He [Ferguson] said, ‘I’m retiring – and you’re the next manager of Manchester United’.
“The biggest problem I had, is that he said I couldn’t tell anybody that he was retiring. He said that nobody knows.
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“He said tell your wife, but no one… so I couldn’t tell my kids, I couldn’t tell my dad, couldn’t tell my dad that I was getting the job. So that, for me, was how it happened.”
But the dream soon turned into a nightmare. Moyes had helmed one of the worst title defences in Premier League history as United were on course for a seventh-place finish.
Just 11 months after United announced that he would take charge on July 1, 2013, they announced his dismissal.
Moyes also opened up on the surprising manner of his sacking, claiming he knew from the media before Woodward told him directly.
And while accepting the brutality of the industry he’s in, he slammed the ex-CEO for not ‘doing things correctly’.
“I always think you have to give bad news well. You’re the boss. You run a really big business like Manchester United,” Moyes explained.
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“If you’ve got any class or any style, when you’re having to give bad news out, it has to be done in a good way.
“I felt the way I was told [about the sacking] wasn’t done as well as it should’ve been. It could’ve been done better and made a lot easier.
“Looking back now, you think, ‘hey, that’s life, get on with it’, but if you’re one of the biggest sports businesses in the world, if not the biggest, you would hope you would do things correctly.
“I found out about my sacking through the media. I tried to make contact and say ‘why don’t we meet up’, but it didn’t suit, and before I knew it, they called me in the day after and the whole world knew about it before I got to know.
“Sometimes people want to get it done right, and I didn’t think it was right. But I genuinely don’t have any real gripe about it because of the industry I’m in.”
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