Rio Ferdinand has lashed out at Leeds chairman Peter Ridsdale and insisted he made the right decision in quitting Ellland Road for Old Trafford.

The England defender joined Manchester United in a œ30m switch last summer, but on hisdeparture, Ridsdale’s claimed that Ferdinand had originally been bought as cover for Jonathan Woodgate.

“There have been a lot of opinions aired as to why I left Leeds,” said Ferdinand.

“I didn’t want to say anything then, and don’t have to now because the situation has taken care of itself and the real reasons are coming out,’ added Ferdinand, in reference to Leeds parlous financial situation, which last week necessitated the selling of Woodgate to Newcastle.

“I laughed when I read that about being a stand-in. An œ18m stand-in is a big gamble isn’t it?

“But if that was his opinion at the time, he certainly didn’t tell me that. So he fooled me.

“The difference between the clubs is that United have been winning things consistently over the last decade.

“The dressing room at Blackburn after we won through to the final of the Worthington Cup confirmed that.

“Players who had won the Treble, including the European Cup, for this club, were singing and dancing.

“It still meant as much to them as it did to me, who has never been to a final.”

Meanwhile, Ferdinand’s former team-mate Danny Mills, has defended Ridsdale’s record. The Leeds and England full-back argues that the chairman should not shoulder the blame for the club’s recent troubles.

“Financial realities have affected Leeds, but it is unfair that the chairman is taking the majority of the stick,” Mills said in his Guardian newspaper column.

“I do not believe that changing the board will have any great effect.

“The board – not just the chairman – have had a very difficult decision to make and hopefully time will prove them right.”