Speaking to an audience of 300 at a charity lunch in Manchester, Ferguson said he found it ‘upsetting the way it came out’.
Moyes learned of his imminent sacking when the story broke on Monday afternoon — 16 hours before he was officially informed by the club.
Ferguson clearly finds that regrettable when he was responsible for luring his fellow Scot to Old Trafford from Everton, where he had enjoyed 11 successful years prior to 10 torturous months at United.
United’s handling of the situation might cost them dearly when it comes to negotiating Moyes’s exit terms. The League Managers’ Association, who are assisting Moyes, have already blasted the club for behaving in an ‘unprofessional manner’.
Their chief executive Richard Bevan said: ‘The LMA is verydisappointed with the nature of David’s departure.’
It is highly significant that the LMA will not comment further until Moyes’s compensation deal has been finalised.
It is understood the 50-year-old believes United delayed sacking him to save millions of pounds in compensation.
The axe fell two days after defeat at Everton, which meant United could no longer finish in the Champions League places. Moyes has told friends he believes this was motivated by a clause in his contract stipulating that failure to finish in the top four would limit his pay-off to £4.5million — a year’s money.
United maintain they did everything by the book and have adhered to stock-market regulations.
A club spokesman said: ‘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.’
It is understood Moyes is bitter towards executive chairman Ed Woodward. He wanted daily contact with the club’s senior executive but sources say communication ‘sometimes wasn’t even weekly’.