Sir Alex Ferguson says he was "upset" at the way Manchester United handled the sacking of manager David Moyes.
Ten months after Moyes took over from Ferguson at Old Trafford, United finally lost patience with the Scot and dismissed him on Tuesday, despite news of his imminent departure having leaked 24 hours earlier in British newspapers.
"It's upsetting the way it came out," Ferguson said at a charity lunch in Manchester on Thursday despite sources having revealed to ESPN FC that he had been consulted on the decision to jettison Moyes.
His settlement is yet to be finalised, although it is reported he will only receive one year's pay-out despite having signed a six-year contract with the club last summer.
Moyes was sacked two days after a 2-0 defeat to his former club Everton, which meant United could not mathematically qualify for the Champions League. Reports suggest that a clause in his contract stipulates he would only be eligible for one year's payment, around 4.5 million pounds, if he failed to steer the club to a top four finish.
Steve Bruce, the Hull City manager and former United captain, sat next to Moyes in a directors' box at Villa Park on Saturday for Aston Villa's 0-0 draw with Southampton and indicated the 50-year-old was still planning for next season at that stage.
"It was all about next year and the plans he had, the players he was looking at," Bruce told The Times. "He was looking forward to the challenge, even though he was experiencing just how difficult it was.
"From afar, you don't quite realise what a big institution Manchester United is. It's mind-blowing when you first get there, what a huge football club it is."
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will continue work on United's transfer dealings while a search for Moyes' successor is conducted, with Louis van Gaal thought to be top of the club's list of candidates.
Ryan Giggs has taken over first team duties in an interim capacity until a successor is found and Bruce has backed his former teammate to shine in the role.
"I've had many a time with Ryan on holiday over the last few years and he's always on about fancying a crack at it, that he wants to stay in the game," Bruce said. "He loves it so much.
"He's played at United all his life, been there since he was a boy. The club is not going to daunt him. He's used to it, it's in his DNA. I just hope he gets a few results and gives them something to think about. Why not? Why can't it be Ryan?"