Ref 'pressured' over Rooney

2011-04-08 14:00

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson believes referee Lee Mason was pressured into writing the report that allowed the FA to charge and ban Wayne Rooney for his expletive-laden rant.

Video: Wayne Rooney swears at camera

The Manchester United manager told reporters on Friday he believed Mason had been ordered to mention that he would have sent off Rooney had he heard Rooney's tirade, a fact that enabled the FA to charge the England player.

Rooney's two-match ban was confirmed on Thursday after the FA dismissed an appeal from United for the severity of the suspension to be reduced.

Both United and Rooney have expressed their disappointment at the suspension, and Ferguson said he believed undue influence had been brought to bear on Mason, who he said had "put himself in a terrible position."

"He has been put under pressure. There is no doubt about that," Ferguson told a press conference.

Rooney swore directly into a pitchside television camera after clinching a hat-trick as United came from behind to beat West Ham 4-2.

"It is hard to imagine the referee would send a player off for scoring a hat-trick," Ferguson said.

"But (Mason) has now put himself in the spotlight. If he doesn't send a player off for swearing the question will be, has he got double standards.

"It is a very difficult position the lad is in. I feel for him. I really do. I don't know where his career is going to go now.

"I think he was put under pressure."

Ferguson admitted he had never held out much hope that Rooney's appeal would be successful but said the ban had knitted United closer as they continue to chase victory in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

"We put an appeal in. The lad has apologised for swearing but I don't think we expected to get a result," Ferguson said.

"It will bring us together. It is a plus for us."

"But we face the problem as we have a good squad who have showed fantastic determination recently.

"We are going to be hard to beat now, that's for sure. The fans know the importance of being united at this moment in time. That will be a really good thing for us."

Ferguson was also quick to hit back Police Superintendent Mark Payne, accusing him of "needing to be noticed" after his comments about Rooney were reported in national media.

Payne, responsible for managing response to crime and operations in Wolverhampton, claimed he would have expected his officers to have arrested the England striker had he replicated his four-letter outburst at Upton Park.

"There's an issue in the modern world of needing to be noticed," Ferguson said.

"A guy in the Midlands who has probably never been recognised in life who managed to elevate himself to whatever he is in the police force.

"But have you ever seen Birmingham on a Saturday night? Do police arrest people for swearing? Dearie me. That is a good one."


  • Jason - 2011-04-08 14:08

    No, he was guilty as sin and infact he is always guilty of this. So SAF justice is served.

      thundyr - 2011-04-08 15:04

      It's fine to have something to say, but not obscenity into the faces of children. He should have been banned for the rest of the season, not just for what he said, but also for thinking he could get away with it. "We're Man U - we do what we want". Not any more fellas.

      Grant - 2011-04-08 15:05

      Top vision there Sonny-boy! Ignore everything in the article, and respond with "no, he was guilty as sin". Do you then agree that any player who swears should be sent off and/or banned!? And while we're at it, any spectator who swears should be ejected from the stadium and charged with indecent public behaviour!? Grow up man

      pensioner - 2011-04-08 16:14

      @ Jason. I do not agree with what he did but I think that he should be punished by means of a hefty fine and not the rest of the team. By banning him for 2 matches which includes an FA Cup match, the FA are punishing the other players who could suffer financially if they do not win the Cup match.

  • Paul - 2011-04-08 14:17

    all they want to do is stop man utd from claiming the title this year....we will win the lot again!!!!

      CB57 - 2011-04-08 14:42

      Oh pleeeeeeeeezzzzzz - is paranoia part of the MU psyche now?

      Gorilla - 2011-04-08 15:09

      Paul. You are a tool. Rooney is a yob.

      doodlenuts - 2011-04-08 16:06

      Gorilla - go and have a banana.

  • Virginia - 2011-04-08 14:20

    Mr Ferguson, you actually initiated the refs decission in that game not to give to penalties to Chelsea.The week before you complained about the refs being so hard on MU. Do not complain about Rooney he is a ruffian on the field, and the ban should have been right from the start, he should not have played against Chelsea , he might be your best player but to me he is a wealth piece of scum.

      pensioner - 2011-04-08 16:18

      @ Virginia--I suppose that you are a Chelsea supporter--I am so sorry for you that you lost at home on Wednesday night.

  • Paul - 2011-04-08 14:23

    The FA has double standards...The fans know the importance of being united at this moment in time. That will be a really good thing for us." thax all you let UTD show you how to play foodball...It will bring us together. It is a plus for us.".......

  • FatMole - 2011-04-08 14:36

    Ferguson is getting scary. He seems to think he's a delusional mafia boss with his veiled threats ("I feel for him. I really do. I don't know where his career is going to go now") and his constant paranoia ("I think he was put under pressure."). I think he's losing his mind.

      Grant - 2011-04-08 15:10

      Have you ever in your life seen any ref sending a player off for swearing!? Now that this ref has claimed that that's what he would have done (had he heard it), he has a precidence to uphold. Read the article! If the ref starts sending players off for swearing, he will go nowhere. If he doesnt, he was basically a liar. He HAS put himself in a tough position. As for the pressure, would you care to give any other reason as to why this ref would have come out with such a report on something he never saw/heard? Do you ever hear a ref saying "Oh yes, had I seen that foul, I would have awarded the penalty!"? No!! They dont admit to errors. So why now?

  • CB57 - 2011-04-08 14:41

    Oh come on Ferguson! The issue was not the swearing itself but the fact that he did it into a camera on national television where kids who were not at the match could hear it - gimme a break you paranoid man!

      Paul - 2011-04-08 14:48

      CB i take it you are 57 you old grumpy chop!!!!

      Gilgamesh - 2011-04-08 15:07

      Paul, CB57 has a point. Put aside your support for ManU and look at it from the perspective of a father. Can you honestly condone Rooney's outburst? Would you be happy for your 8 yr old son to hear language like that? People are saying, "put yourself in his shoes".... There have been plenty football stars before Rooney and there will be plenty after him. I guarantee you that none of them will behave like that. Swearing is one thing, but to do so aggressively in front of a camera so that MILLIONS of kids can hear you, it adds up to a lack of moral fibre. The punishment should have been more harsh. And no, I'm not 57, I'm much closer to Rooney in age. It's not about how old you are, it's about what kind of person you are. If he played for a team that I supported or if I was even a fan of his, I would still think he was an idiot for doing that. Anyone who condones his actions falls into that bracket as well.

      CB57 - 2011-04-08 15:20

      @Paul; age has nothing whatsoever to do with it - read Gilgamesh's response - all said very clearly! Adding fuel to the fire, I will say that it's time that the football authorities (everywhere) clamped down on the thuggish behaviour that is starting to show it's ugly 1980s-type face again in the players - diving, foul tackles, shouting/swearing and whining at the refs - the beautiful game is starting to become one damn ugly game again and it won't be long before the fans start behving badly again too. Oh and also, it's time refs were sanctioned for poor match decisions and behaviour too!

      doodlenuts - 2011-04-08 16:03

      @Gilgamash & CB57 - have you 2 heard the fans swear while singing or chanting their teams anthems! Purlease they put Rooney to shame - and Paul is right with regards to the referee now having to punish all players when they use foul language. We may not hear them but any lip reader will tell you exactly what they are saying

  • Matt - 2011-04-08 15:23

    In objective comparison with regard to the values underlined by an action, the example set thereby and the appropriate penalty, how does one justify swearing - a vulgar outburst - receiving a 2 match ban and simulation - a blatant, dishonest attempt to mislead an official - result in a yellow card??? Furthermore, in a competitive sporting arena where motivation, aggression and mental-state are so crucial to performance, how can this general outburst not intended any specific person warrant this??? Simulation should be red-cardable and an offense like this should result in a loss of one's match fee... Oh, and look at Essien's tackle on Rooney in the first 10 mins - a obviously attempt to work on an injury which is widely known to have kept him off the park...

  • jeronimo - 2011-04-08 15:38

    Oh shut up Ferguson. You and Rooney are both uncouth, foul-mouthed twats. The only difference is that Rooney is (usually) a damn good footballer.

  • Campbell - 2011-04-08 16:05

    The problem with almost every single comment here is that the poster's point of view is completely subjected based on whether or not they are a Man U supporter or not. If Terry did the same thing the Chelsea supporters would immediately condone his action! The same for Arsenal and Liverpool supporters. Lets face it, what Rooney did was really uncalled for but he is not the first and is unlikely to be the last. And please, those of you commenting that youngs kid would have seen that have either never been to the UK or live a very sheltered life. The Pommy kids are the most vile, foul mouthed, ill mannered thugs around. Hell, they would probably teach Rooney a few words. Furthermore, I have had the privilege of attending a match at Old Trafford and you want to hear the language coming from both the Man U and the opposition supporters, it's quite entertaining to say the least. Parents, both men and women, shout obscenities at the top of their voices with their kids sitting right next to them. Lastly, Ferguson does have a point regarding the ref, which has been coroborrated in a separate news report. If the ref was indeed coerced by the FA then the FA stand accused of blatant subjectivity and hypocrisy. I have no doubt whatsoever that Wenger, Mancini, Ancelloti et al would have reacted simirlarly had it been one of their players. Oh, and Rooney is no different to many other players out there from the other teams who could also be branded low class yobs! Its a pommy thing!

      Campbell - 2011-04-08 16:08

      Sorry - the word should be SUBJECTIVE and not SUBJECTED! Dyslexic fingers...

      Aribs - 2011-04-08 17:27

      Well played bud. Rooney was wrong and he did apologise right after the game. He should have fined but not banned. If the FA are going to ban Rooney they need to ban all players that are seen swearing now...bottom line. Consistency is needed otherwise the claim that United is been targetted by the FA is warranted.

  • Ambiorix - 2011-04-08 16:07

    Sport24 catching on kak AGAIN.....why is the link to the clip still 'available'? if you try to open it you get "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by FA Premier league" Up your game guys!!

  • capetonian - 2011-04-08 17:13

    You won't see that behaviour on a rugby field! Some of these so-called professional sportsmen are over paid prima donnas. I watch and enjoy both soccer and rugby, but I must say that the abuse towards match officials in soccer matches would never be tolerated in the rugby world. You would be red carded immediately for anything approaching want Rooney did, apart from the behaviour displayed when decisions go against you on the field!

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