Stam wanted to stay, but says that now as a manager himself, of Sky Bet Championship club Reading who face Ipswich tonight, he has come to understand the master manager's reasoning.
“Everyone knows what happened at United with my injury and the decision that Fergie made to sell me after three years of winning everything and doing very well on a personal level," said Stam to the Daily Express.
“When you go into management you understand why managers make certain decisions at certain times. If there's a player who gets an injury and he's been out for a couple of months, then you are never sure if he will come back to that same level. And maybe you get an offer in from another club that you can't refuse.
“But still, I wanted to stay at United. I knew at the time I left that I still had a lot of years to go at a certain level, but certain decisions are made.
“I wouldn't say that I stood up to Fergie. I just wanted to prove him wrong when I went elsewhere. It's nice when you hear him say, 'I regret that I sold Stam', but those things happen in football and you need to keep going and show yourself to the world."