Patrice Evra has launched a passionate rant about the problems at Manchester United and has accused Ed Woodward of placing his trust in the wrong people.
The former United left-back, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League during his nine-year spell at Old Trafford, has criticised the club over their approach to transfers and their tendency to involve lawyers during talks with potential signings.
Evra also claims that he has received calls from sporting directors who allege that Matt Judge, United’s chief transfer negotiator alongside Woodward, is difficult to contact and does not answer phone calls.
In a 20-minute video on Facebook, Evra said: ‘I don’t know where to start, let’s start with the transfers. Every year I go into déjà vu. We make so much impact on social media but the reality [is different]. Every target, like the main target, fans have to understand you don’t buy five, six 10 players then your team will improve… but at least [get] your main target. That’s what we’re not doing any more.
‘At the time Fergie we didn’t hear anything in the paper but bang, bang, bang… Van Persie, Evra, Vidic, Ferdinand, boom, everything fast. When Manchester United want a player, boom, they just go. They go and talk to him face to face.
‘When Ferguson and David Gill came to meet me at Monaco it was worse than an interview from the CIA or the FBI.
‘But now my phone is ringing and some football director of a top club say, ‘Patrice, can you please ask a certain Matt Judge to answer his phone’. Yes, people have to understand we send lawyers to talk to a player, and when you send lawyers they talk about numbers, they are not people from the football world.
‘So when we want a player, he normally costs £20 million and you end up trying to buy him for £100 million, even those players they don’t even want money any more.
‘The perfect example is Alexis Sanchez. Manchester City were the first ones, he asks for so much money, even Guardiola was saying, ‘I can’t give you that money because I’ll lose my dressing room’. But lucky for Alexis, Manchester United were like, ‘come, come, we’ve got money here’.
‘Even he said after one day he asked his agent if he can break his contract. Even he’s saying he didn’t want your money.
‘What a disrespect for our club, the legacy we built, because before us, Bobby Charlton, George Best, all those people they make the history of the club, that’s why we tried to respect it. ’99, us in 2008, just some people want to blow all this legacy away for what? Which reason, business? Come on, guys. We are better than that.
‘And it’s easy to say don’t mention names, I don’t care. I sacrificed my life to succeed for this club. And that’s why I want the players, the staff and the people on the board to do.
‘I know so many people who don’t talk because they are scared they may lose their job or not get a job. I don’t care. I don’t need Manchester United. I love this club. Maybe one day I will work for this club but I will work with my loyalty and I will never lie to any person who loves this club because I think some people work for this club and they are damaging this club. That’s why we have to tell the truth to the fans.
‘If I have a problem with Ed Woodward I won’t talk on social media I will just text him or call him or meet him and tell him what I think about something.
‘And you know we blame him a lot, the only problem I would say to Ed is trusting people who he should never trust. He even trusts people outside the club. And that’s the thing I can say about Ed.
‘And some people… thank you you are here because we’ve got money, like Richard Arnold, these guys can make sponsor deals like you can’t even imagine. So we’ve got money but we don’t have any players because we send the wrong people to speak with them.
‘And we have only just changed that, only now we try to approach the player, try to speak with them like Ferguson used to.
‘I’ll give you a massive example, Florentino Perez, the president of Real Madrid, when he signed Benzema, Varane, Ozil, when he needed a player he was flying. I remember Karim told me they came to the streets to his house to see his mum.
‘But when Varane and Ozil saw Zinedine Zidane come off the plane they said, ‘where is the contract?’ and they signed straight away.
‘Because they send people who know the club, who love the club, who know how to talk about the club, not some lawyer who only talk about money.
‘But myself, if I worked for Manchester United, trust me, the first thing I would do is slap some agents because they are also the real problem because they control their player.
‘Wake up, guys. This is your life, this is your destiny. Your agent, not all of them, some of them are really good, but most of them see you as a bank, money, they don’t care if you’re injured or if you play well. So wake up, guys. This is an important message to the new generation. If your agent respects your choice, stay with him for life. But when you see he wants to push you somewhere to get a bigger commission, don’t stay with him, trust me.
‘I talk a lot but we need to stick together. When I was talking about negativity around the club because we hurt people for so many years, that’s why they are happy to see Man United fall.
‘Please leave Ole alone, let him work with what he has. But let’s talk about other people who maybe shouldn’t be at this club.
‘I will say a sensitive name – Avram Glazer, Joel Glazer – I’ve met Avram many times. I know many United fans hate the Glazers but Avram loves Manchester United and he cares about the club.
‘Because when I had a meeting with him, I remember it was the game against PSG, I gave him some feedback he wasn’t aware of because maybe the people he trusts and the people in charge don’t give him the right information.
‘So before we say ‘Glazers out’… calm down.
‘To work for this club you need to sacrifice your life and it’s not easy, but that’s the only way if you want to succeed. And maybe some people don’t want that. I understand that.
‘But let’s be less arrogant. Even some people at the club don’t respect Sir Alex Ferguson. Of course some people are still angry with him because he pushed to appoint David Moyes. But the real question is did David Moyes listen to his advice? I’m not sure about that.’