Patrice Evra reveals details of Manchester United bust up with Ed Woodward
Patrice Evra has revealed he threatened Ed Woodward after Manchester United triggered a one-year extension to his contract against his wishes in 2014.
Evra had told United’s executive vice-chairman he intended to quit Old Trafford when his contract expired at the end of the 2013-14 season but after initially accepting his decision to leave, Woodward made a u-turn and the club announced Evra would be staying on for another season.
Two months after his extension was announced by United, Evra, then 33, joined Juventus for a transfer fee of £1.2million.
Evra said Woodward’s betrayal gave him a reason to walk away from the club he had given eight-and-a-half years of his career to.
“Before the end of that season Ed told me: ‘Patrice, you’re going to stay for another year because we’ve got an option in your contract,'” Evra recallled, speaking to Sky Sports. “But I told him I needed to leave because of family reasons. He shook my hand and said he understood.”Then in May I was having dinner in Dubai on my birthday and had a text from my agent. He told me to go somewhere quiet and sent me a message with the statement from United saying they were pleased to renew my contract for another year. I went mad, I was really disappointed.
“I called Ed and swore on the phone, even threatened him. He said I couldn’t talk to the director of football like that and that he was going to fine me. After that Ryan Giggs called and said couldn’t leave just because of one man, but it gave me an excuse to leave. I’d already said to my wife we were going to leave, but inside I didn’t ever really feel I could. That gave me a little push.”
Reflecting on the unpleasant episode, Evra said he could understand why United were so keen to keep hold of him.
“Some people won’t understand why Ed did it but I understand,” Evra added. “Of the senior players I was the only one he wanted to keep – even David Moyes had said it before he got sacked. They said to [Rio] Ferdinand and [Nemanja] Vidic, we don’t need you anymore, but in the dressing room you need a character. I understood Ed, but I didn’t understand why he betrayed me. He should’ve called me to explain.
“Without that it’s difficult to know what would’ve happened. I would’ve had to deal with my wife – and I call her Roy Keane when she gets angry. I don’t know. When we reached the Champions League final with Juventus she said she’d told me so, but even winning three Champions Leagues with Juve wouldn’t have had the same satisfaction of playing for United.”