Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he is upset by the treatment of David Moyes after the former Everton manager was sacked on Tuesday.
Ferguson, speaking at a charity dinner attended by 300 people, revealed that the sacking was "upsetting the way it came out", as quoted by the Daily Mail.
When Moyes was appointed last summer, Ferguson announced that he had personally recommended his fellow Scot for the job, and until now his reaction to the sacking has been a source of widespread speculation.
United dismissed Moyes a day after reports of the sacking began to surface in the national press, with some suggesting a leak from the club - although there is no evidence to support these suggestions.
The handling of the move, and in particular United's refusal to clarify the rumours of Moyes' sacking in the hours before his departure, has been widely condemned, with the League Managers Association particularly vocal in its criticism.
However, a United spokesman revealed that they conducted themselves professionally and Moyes should not have any qualms with the way the issue was handled.
"We do not accept that it was handled in an unprofessional manner. The decision was not taken until late Monday night and was communicated face-to-face first thing on Tuesday morning," the spokesman said.
United are currently seventh in the league with 57 points, 13 points behind fourth-placed Arsenal. Despite the disastrous nature of the campaign, some pundits, including Roy Keane, have suggested Moyes should have been given a second season.
Former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann has also suggested Moyes should have had more time, in a statement which can be seen here.
Reports suggest United are going to offer Louis van Gaal the chance to replace Moyes as United manager, although this has yet to be confirmed. It has also been reported that Ferguson will play a key role in the next appointment, despite the turmoil endured by his putative 'chosen one' Moyes.