Evra: Fer­gu­son’s legacy is be­ing de­stroyed

For­mer United player hits out at trans­fer chief Judge French­man claims ‘ar­ro­gant’ peo­ple are dam­ag­ing the club

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - By James Ducker north­ern foot­ball cor­re­spon­dent

Pa­trice Evra has launched a scathing at­tack on Manch­ester United’s “un­con­tactable” trans­fer ne­go­tia­tor, ac­cused ex­ec­u­tive vice-chair­man Ed Wood­ward of be­ing too trust­ing and claimed there are peo­ple work­ing at Old Traf­ford who are “dam­ag­ing the club”.

In an un­com­pro­mis­ing 20-minute mono­logue posted on his In­sta­gram ac­count, the for­mer United and France de­fender raised fears that Sir Alex Fer­gu­son’s legacy was be­ing “blown away”.

Evra’s plea for the club to stop be­ing “ar­ro­gant” came less than 48 hours af­ter a 3-1 de­feat by Crys­tal Palace in their open­ing game of the new Pre­mier League sea­son un­der­lined the ur­gent need for qual­ity re­in­force­ments be­fore the close of the trans­fer win­dow in a fort­night.

United are in talks to sign Brazil left-back, Alex Telles, from Porto for around £20mil­lion af­ter Hol­land mid­fielder, Donny van de Beek, joined from Ajax this month for £34.8 mil­lion.

But they have so far balked at Borus­sia Dort­mund’s £108mil­lion val­u­a­tion of Eng­land winger Jadon San­cho and have not signed a cen­tre-half, de­spite Palace be­ing the lat­est side to ex­pose their prob­lems in that po­si­tion.

Evra be­lieves United – who face Lu­ton Town in the Carabao Cup third round at Ke­nil­worth Road tonight – need to re­think com­pletely their ap­proach to sign­ing play­ers and sin­gled out head of cor­po­rate de­vel­op­ment Matt Judge, who is re­spon­si­ble for ne­go­ti­at­ing trans­fers and con­tacts, for crit­i­cism.

Evra claimed the sport­ing di­rec­tor of one lead­ing club con­tacted him once to ask if he could re­lay a mes­sage to Judge, a for­mer in­vest­ment banker, to start an­swer­ing his phone and be­lieves United are los­ing out on play­ers be­cause they dis­patch lawyers, not foot­ball peo­ple, to talk to would-be tar­gets.

“When Manch­ester United needed a player [un­der Fer­gu­son and David Gill] they go and talk to them face to face,” Evra said. “When Fer­gu­son and David Gill came to meet me at Monaco it was worse than an in­ter­view from

Line of com­mu­ni­ca­tion: Pa­trice Evra claims Matt Judge of­ten fails to an­swer his phone

the CIA or FBI! But now my phone is ring­ing from a sport­ing di­rec­tor from a top foot­ball club and they say, ‘Pa­trice, can you please ask Matthew Judge to an­swer his phone’. We [United] send lawyers to talk to play­ers. So when we send lawyers they talk about num­bers – they are not peo­ple from the foot­ball world.” It is not un­com­mon to hear agents and tech­ni­cal di­rec­tors at ri­val clubs com­plain­ing about the poor lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion Evra cites. United’s re­cruit­ment has in­vited se­vere crit­i­cism for years and many of their trans­fer pur­suits – from Harry Maguire to Bruno Fer­nan­des re­cently and now San­cho – have be­come drawn-out sagas. Yet they have so far re­sisted the ap­point­ment of a di­rec­tor of foot­ball.

Evra has en­joyed a close re­la­tion­ship in the past with Wood­ward, but said of the ex­ec­u­tive vice-chair­man: “We are blam­ing him a lot. The only prob­lem I would say to Ed is trust­ing peo­ple he should never trust. He even trusts some peo­ple from out­side the club [that he shouldn’t].”

Evra says he wor­ries about some of the peo­ple United have work­ing for them. “Let’s be less ar­ro­gant, even some peo­ple from the club they don’t re­spect Sir Alex Fer­gu­son. Don’t de­stroy your legacy,” he said. “Be­fore us, Bobby Charl­ton, Ge­orge Best, they make the his­tory and we try to re­spect it. Some peo­ple want to blow all this legacy away and they are dam­ag­ing this club.”

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