Defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday brought an end to Stoke’s ten-year stay in the top flight, and Butland was seen crying as he applauded the fans after the game.
“Stoke has got a massive place in my heart and it hurts because I’ve given everything and it’s a horrible feeling,” said Butland, as quoted by the Telegraph.
“I think the whole recruitment process needs looking at, to be honest. We’ve gone into a game – and over the last few months – with half the squad dotted around the world not even involved.”
Stoke spent over £50m on Kevin Wimmer, Giannelli Imbula and Saido Berahino but none of the trio were involved against Palace, with Wimmer injured, Imbula on loan at Toulouse and Berahino excluded from the squad for poor discipline.
“There’s been transfers who aren’t even part of the squad for all kinds of reasons, whether it be discipline, whether it be lack of performance,” added Butland. “So you’ve got to look at that – what decisions are being made and the type of characters.
“Too many of the recent investments have been completely unused and that’s unacceptable. For any changes to happen that’s got to be looked at, because it’s been farcical.
“The manager has had an extremely difficult job. He inherited a squad where, unfortunately, there was ill-discipline and players you cannot rely on.”
Butland has a host of Premier League suitors waiting to snap him up, but Stoke will demand £40m for the England goalkeeper, who is expected to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup.