Manchester: Sir Alex Ferguson blasted Blackburn Rovers` decision to sack manager Sam Allardyce, saying it was "stupid" and "confounded common sense".
Allardyce, in charge for nearly two years, was fired despite Rovers being relatively well placed at 13th in the English Premier League table, five points above the relegation zone.
But that was not enough to persuade Venky`s, the Indian poultry group that bought Rovers for some 23 million pounds (36 million dollars) less than a month ago, to keep the 56-year-old Englishman at Ewood Park.
Ferguson, who will eclipse Sir Matt Busby as Manchester United`s longest-serving manager when he takes the league leaders to champions Chelsea on Sunday -- a match that will mark 24 years, one month and 14 days at the helm -- was bewildered by Allardyce`s exit.
"He phoned me at 3.10pm (1510GMT) today (Monday) saying `can I have a cup of tea tonight?` because he was coming to the game," Ferguson told Sky Sports after United went two points clear at the top of the table following a 1-0 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford.
"Then he phones me at half past four and says `I`ve been sacked`.
"I`ve never heard of such a stupid decision in all my life, it`s absolutely ridiculous," the 68-year-old Scot added. "I don`t know what they`re doing up there, but deary me.”
"It confounds common sense to be honest with you. Absolutely ridiculous.”
"I wouldn`t like to follow him!"
Allardyce arrived at Rovers in December 2008 and took them out of the relegation zone before leading them to a 10th place finish last term.
Victory on Sunday over north-west rivals Bolton, the side where Allardyce made his name as a player and enjoyed his best days as a manager, would have taken Blackburn to within sight of a European spot.
But instead a 2-1 loss to a Bolton team who finished the match down to 10 men proved to be Allardyce`s last game in charge.
Rovers captain Ryan Nelsen said the squad had been caught cold by Allardyce`s abrupt departure.
"I am devastated for Sam," New Zealand defender Nelsen said. "He had an absolutely fantastic relationship with all of the players.”
"Everyone respected him. He took the club out of the doldrums really.”
"We were in massive trouble with no money. He solidified us and put us into a top-10 position, and again he did it on a shoe-string."
He added: "I`m just getting over the shock of it. We`ve got to get over it, but at the moment I want to say, and I can speak for nearly all the players I`m sure, that they will be devastated. He was a very likeable character."
Allardyce was equally taken aback by Rovers` decision, saying: "I had to pop in to see the chairman this afternoon and he presented the rather shocking news to me.
"It was obviously unexpected but that`s the world of football today.”
"It hasn`t really been explained to me and I`m a little confused in my own mind at the moment but the reality will kick in in a couple of days."
He added: "It`s up to them now where they take the club forward. I`m not a part of it, I`m very disappointed about that and would have liked to have been a part of it but I`m not."