Rio Ferdinand still had his boots on when he was told to leave Manchester United.
During his career at Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand won six Premier League titles, the Champions League, and 14 trophies in total.
In the process, he featured in the PFA Team of the Year four times in five years and alongside Nemanja Vidic, formed one of the greatest defensive partnerships in the history of the Premier League.
However, during a recent interview on The High Performance Podcast the Manchester United legend spoke candidly about how Ed Woodward informed him that he had no future at the club.
The end of his Manchester United career
On the final day of the season in 2013/14 season – the first season in the post-Ferguson era which saw David Moyes in charge of the team at the start – Manchester United were away at Southampton, needing a victory and for Spurs to lose against Aston Villa in order to take sixth place.
Rio Ferdinand started the game, but his Manchester United career ended that day.
Ultimately, neither result went United’s way, as they only managed to draw while Spurs won.
After the game, Rio Ferdinand says that Woodward came into the dressing room and told him that his 12 years at Manchester United were up, he was still wearing his boots from the match.
Given it’s United’s club policy to only offer rolling one-year contracts to players who are in their 30s, Ferdinand said that he was aware of the situation, but it could have been handled better.
Ferdinand also has an issue with how Ed Woodward handled the situation.
How Ed Woodward broke the news.
“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 – my boots are still on – 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!’ Is that the way it’s going to end?
The former West Ham and Leeds United defender was taken aback by the news, mainly because he didn’t get to say farewell to the Old Trafford faithful.
“This place isn’t being run properly.”
“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 – fans and people at the club – but i wasn’t given the time to do that. I was bitter for a little time, to be honets. 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.
At the time, Rio Ferdinand released a statement which made reference to his abrupt exit from Manchester United.
Rio Ferdinand’s statement after leaving Manchester United
A section of Rio Ferdinand’s statement read: “Circumstances didn’t allow for me to say goodbye the way I would have liked but I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my team-mates, staff, the club and the fans for an unbelievable 12 years that I’ll never forget. Winning trophies I dreamed about as a kid came true at this great club.
The defender would join QPR after his time at Manchester United but his spell at Loftus Road wasn’t successful with the Rs were relegated. The defender only made only 12 appearances for QPR in his only season with the club, he announced his retirement in May 2015.
As for his career at Old Trafford, he made 455 appearances for the Red Devils and amassed quite an amount of medals, winning the Premier League six times, the League Cup twice and the Champions League and FIFA World Club Cup in 2008.
You can view Ferdinand’s comments below.