FA: Ferguson harming game

2011-03-23 17:09

London - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson risked damaging the game's integrity while undermining attempts to eradicate abuse of referees with his criticisms, England's Football Association has ruled.

After United's 2-1 loss at Chelsea this month, Ferguson blasted match official Martin Atkinson's performance, complaining that the Premier League leaders didn't get a "fair or strong referee."

The full findings of the FA's Independent Regulatory Commission that led to Ferguson being banned from the touchline for five matches and fined 30 000 pounds ($48 000) were released on Wednesday.

"Whatever view one may take about the performance of Mr. Atkinson, or any other (referee), respect for their integrity is essential for the integrity of the game," wrote barrister Craig Moore, who chaired the commission. "His vast experience ought to have left Sir Alex in no doubt as to how any sense of injustice he may have felt about the decisions made in a match, or the performance of an official, should properly be channeled and expressed."

Moore said Ferguson's failure to apologise to Atkinson was a "serious aggravating" factor when punishing him.

"Although he denied any intention to question Mr. Atkinson's integrity, he should, at the very least, have realised the importance of what he said," Moore wrote. "It follows that any credit to which Sir Alex may have been entitled by admitting the charge, and reduction in sanction, was lost.

"In addition, it follows from his denial of the charge that no clarification or retraction of any of his comments has been made by Sir Alex and no apology given to Mr. Atkinson, even after the charge had been brought."

Ferguson, who refuses to attend media conferences after Premier League matches, was punished for comments on United's in-house television channel, MUTV.

"I must say, when I saw who the referee was I did fear it," Ferguson told the pay-TV channel. "I fear, I feared the worst."

The outburst earned Ferguson a three-game ban and two matches were added to the sanction because of a previous suspended sentence hanging over the 69-year-old Scotsman.

Half of a four-match penalty for questioning referee Alan Wiley's fitness after a match last season had been suspended until the end of this campaign but was activated.

The commission found that Ferguson's latest comments "undermined the attempts by the association, through its 'Respect Campaign' to encourage higher standards of behavior within the game, including respect for officials," Moore said.

Ferguson was furious that Atkinson refused to send off Chelsea defender David Luiz for fouls on Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney after the Brazil international had already been booked.

He was also critical of the awarding of a late penalty to Chelsea for United defender Chris Smalling's foul on substitute Yuri Zhirkov. Frank Lampard converted the spot kick for what proved to be the winning goal.

The domestic suspension was forcing Ferguson to watch four league games and the FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City on April 16 from the stands.

United has a five-point lead over Arsenal as the team chases a record-breaking 19th English title. Ferguson has delivered 11 of those since taking charge in 1986 as well as winning the Champions League twice.


  • Superdude - 2011-03-23 17:23

    Fergie has been doing this for years and getting away with it. The problem is that a man who has won the league so many times demands respect, however, I fear that the FA have shown him way to much respect and are now paying the price.

      kahuru1 - 2011-03-23 17:34

      I agree ... you give someone too much leeway you are creating a monster that is going to be bigger than you - look no further than Julius Malema.

      Gunner - 2011-03-25 07:18

      He is a BULLY, and will always be one.

      King Solomon - 2011-03-25 08:56

      Refs don't get penalised for bad reffing, only people who criticise them. Totally wrong!

  • Brevan - 2011-03-23 18:32

    I agree that he is blunt and sometimes disrespectful... but when will the FA do something about the poor standard of officials? If they don't want to add extra officials on the field or do something more to ensure fair results then they have to take the criticism, because every second game thses days have controversy in it... and don't dismiss itr as part of the game, because people's jobs could beaffeby one poor decision that an official makes...

      Brevan - 2011-03-23 19:44

      That doesn't take anything away from the standard of refereeing in the premier league. There are so many instances where the refs miss things or let things get out of hand. Lots of off the ball incidents that additional officials could solve or maybe even technology. Managers these days are under so much pressure that an official could be responsible for a manager losing his job, and official could be responsible for a team being relegated. With the impact that thier decisions can have, they should be able to handle a manager calling them "not strong enough".

      Harold - 2011-03-24 13:24

      I agree with Brevan. The standard of English refereeing is poor. The London press are quite when United are the victims but make an noise when Arsenal or another London club are hard done by. Respect has to be earned. Accountablity is the key issue in any organisation and if referees are not held accountable the game will soon descend into anarchy like what happened in Italy.

      Superdude - 2011-03-24 13:49

      You have a point Brevan, but then what happens when decisions are referred to the FA, who then still do nothing about it - Rooneys blatant elbow to the head of James McCarthy?

      mikedek - 2011-03-28 09:54

      Brevan. You are so correct. Far to many games are being harmed by "Bad" referee's. This needs to be addressed before you can complain about honest criticism. They are blaming the wrong person. First they need to clean up their own homes!.

  • d54 - 2011-03-23 19:19

    If you are so good why don't you take up the whistle?

      mikedek - 2011-03-28 09:59

      d54 You miss the point. This is a professional sport with millions of $$$ involved. The refs need also to be of a high standard otherwise it is like racing a performance car with a 1200 motor in it. The FA has a major responsibility to upgrade the refs urgently.

  • Andrew - 2011-03-23 19:34

    AF and MU are arrogant yobs. I hope they go down to Arsenal this season.

      Aribs - 2011-03-23 21:00

      Trophy envy from a scouse...

      Suckerz - 2011-03-24 13:42

      Nope, Liverpool train with knee pads, mate... they go down easily!

  • mainganye - 2011-03-23 21:02

    The ref was inconsistent. As Fergie said one hopes in games like that which are big games u get a fair ref that's up for the match. Send on defender off for a 2nd offence and leave another one on for 2 far worse offences.... and its not just Fergie complaining. What about Wenger. Halloway. Bruce etc. The f.a fears the truth and when someone has the balls to stand up and say u ARE wrong they get a fine. tell the truth, get a fine. Mensah's suspension was taken away this wekend... wonder why. there was an outcry that the challenge was outside the box for the liverpool and sunderland game. everyone agrees. no suspensions and fines.... but there was an outcry... Lame

  • Aribs - 2011-03-23 21:06

    I must be very honest...Sir Alex isn't the only manager who moans and complains about referees. It happens all the time. Arsene bitched like a little girl about the ref against Barcelona and gets 1 match ban Alex complains and gets 5 game ban. Sounds like certain people are trying to victimise and crucify the old man. Sir Alex is a legend who isn't afarid to call a spade a spade...anyone who disagrees with that is a blind toss...

      gizzy - 2011-03-23 21:36

      Being an Arsenal fan I have no love for Alex but in this instance he was absolutely right (can't believe I am saying this in favour of Alex). It peeves me that these useless refs can do as they please (and they have been uselss this season) but you never hear of what happens to them. Maybe if the FA were more transparent and sanctioned those uesless referees as publicly as they do players and managers then they could punish managers that step out of line. They treat these uselss referees as Gods and the referees are beginning to believe they are gods.

      thundyr - 2011-03-24 06:01

      Anyone so far up his rear as you seem to be is also a blind toss. Fergie blames the ref every time his team loses, in case you hadn't noticed, while attacking the managers of other teams who are victimized by Man U's 12th man, Howard Webb. He's two-faced scum and it's about time he was called for his behaviour - it's one thing to say the ref was poor, it's quite another to say he was biased or not fit to be a referee. It was a 3 match ban as well, fool - two of those were simply brought forward from another case where he also insulted the referee. It's also high time the FA force him to appear in front of the media after matches, especially for interviews with the BBC.

      Brevan - 2011-03-24 07:18

      @ thundyr: Why would you want Alex or any manager to appear at press conferences after matches if you don't want thier honest opinion? You can see that managers have to pause before they make comments and then lie in front of the cameras or avoid answering the actual question, while the interviewers try to get them to say something contraversial.

      Aribs - 2011-03-24 07:50

      @thudyr. Mate you just totally contradicted yourself with your Howard Webb, 12th man bullshit. I take it you are a Liverpool supporter. You okes are the biggest whingers when it comes to referees, proven by your Howard Webb comment...and I'm not blind, I see things for what they are. You are the one who is blinded by your Trophy go dip in a bin in the slums of Liverpool...

      TRUE Red - 2011-03-24 09:31

      "trophy envy" - please remind WHO is trying to play catch up ? We both have 58 trophies, so why on earth should we be jealous of you guy's, LOL ! Let's not forget we have what fergie REALLY wants, i.e. FIVE European Cups & a manager who won it THREE times (Paisley) As for "slums" - have you been to Liverpool ? I have, and it's a beautiful city, with the area around the Albert Docks more stunning & modern than sandton, melrose arch, v&a, etc all put together ! Fot the topic on hand - yes, the ref's are shocking these days - before each game i pray the result isn't affected by bad decisions. BUT, fergie is 2 faced - Utd get more decisions going FOR them than any other team - alot of those trophies in the past 2 decades were won with some help. It happens to everyone, sure, but not as much as at OT. I would think he should be grateful that only one or two go against him for every 10 that work for him ! DO NOT bite the hand that feeds you ...

      ben10 - 2011-03-24 09:41

      Well I must disgree don't u watch soccer !!!!!!!!! The refs are really poor in making the correct decisions please understand they are allowed too make mistakes after all we only humans .But to many deliberate fouls come on Its all over Spain/ Eng/ Scots ect. all over maybe referees must get benched So show some respect Ferguson is a genuis to the game // Spurs fan

      Bob - 2011-03-24 10:01

      Spot on True red, Fergie has had more than his fair share of help from poor officialdom, TEN years without one penalty awarded against the manure at OT, don't tell me it's their fantastic efficient defence, I'm not even going to start with Howard Webb, their most influential outfielder.

      Aribs - 2011-03-24 10:24

      Yes my point proven exactly once again...whinge whinge...every club has had decisions go against and for them. All that I'm saying is that Fergie brings it up and gets a ban. Officiating is rubbish in the Premier League...let's go to the penalty giver to Pool against Sunderland last weekend if you want to go the topic of decisions going for a far as trophies go, what have you won in the past five years...nothing. Where are we on the log? Where are you on the log? Jealous much...? That's called envy...go look it up in the dictionary if you still don't understand...

      TRUE Red - 2011-03-24 10:36

      it was never a penalty, agreed. Just like it was never a penalty when berba dived at OT. Have you seen what has happenned at LFC in the last 5 years ? ANY other club would have crumbled by now, but yet the Liverbird stands proudly ! Yeah I saw the log - I saw MY team, who spent half the season in relegation under old Woy, are suddenly fighting for European contention again under the King, after just 10 games in charge ! I'll never forget Fergie's face when King Kenny walked out the tunnel at OT for his 1st day on the job ! The winds of change be blowing ... You've lived SO long in our shadow that you actually believe WE are jealous of you lot ! ROTFLMAO ! I respect you guy's, yes, which is more than i can say about clubs like R. Madrid, Man Shitty, Inter, etc who try to buy trophies, but will NEVER ever envy you, get that straight ;-)

      FactFile - 2011-03-24 13:05

      True Red my man! I wanted to say what u said, but now I don't have to - well they do say Great Minds think alike! As for Aribs WTF!!!!!!!! U get you're arse handed to u and u still wanna reason?! Just get the facts in ur tiny little manure head (the uneducated one that can't even think properly) and stop the trophy song - so old (sigh). RED4LIFE

      Man U - 2011-03-24 13:32

      @True Red: Pot calling the kettle Black? Remember a game last season when, i think it was Ngog, that dived in the penalty area and Pool equalised from that spot kick earning themselves a 2-2 draw against Birmigham? Ngog or whoever even admitted after the game that he dived. I did not see any posts from you then labelling it a dive and what a cheat your player was! Torres used to fall over very quick in the penalty areas as well my man!

      TRUE Red - 2011-03-24 14:19

      I remember Ngog's dive. I remember him saying after the game that he was NOT a diver though. Ofcourse it was never a penalty ! I will NEVER condone diving, even from my own team's player's, so not sure what you are on about ? I also don't remember us winning any penalties we didn't deserve when Torres went down in the box - i do however remember us NOT getting many penalties we DID deserve, which is the whole point of this topic isn't it ?

      Aribs - 2011-03-24 14:53

      @ True in your shadow...? Uh um...who has the bigger stadium...? Who is sustaining themselves financially(barely I know but still) and doesn't require a bail out from a bunch of Baseball yanks...? As far as Berbatovs dive...what dive? Agger made contact and if you are such a moron to stick your leg out and someone who has made it passed you already...then you desrve to have a penalty blown against you. And Factfile...your response is Kuk funny..!! That is the response you wanted...hey? Gimme your e_mail adress and I'll send you my qualifications...but you will have to take your head out your arse to read them...twat. Trophies is what it is all about....dumbass.

      TRUE Red - 2011-03-24 15:31

      dude, we were bought & are currently debt free, while you guy's owe what, 800 odd mil or something ? So now, because you realise you don't have more trophies, it's about whose has the bigger stadium ? LOL ! Then you say, again, it's all about trophies, so which it ? I wouldn't swop L4 for ANY stadium, not even the Nou Camp guy - I was fortunate enough to be there as well as the Emirates, which is far more modern & bigger, and let me tell you, it's not even a comparison which i prefer. ANYWAY, since we way off the topic, this is my last post on this thread anyway Enjoy ! :-)

      Aribs - 2011-03-25 01:23

      True Liverpool supporter, walk away from a debate or argument that has a bit of substance with a blend of truth and reality all blended together....but its cool. See you later:)

  • Rapier - 2011-03-23 21:24

    Soccer lout

  • - 2011-03-23 21:32

    Ferguson is scum - just like most of the others in English professional football. How he ever got knighted beggars belief. I knew him when he managed Aberdeen years ago - he was scum then as he is now.

  • Privateer - 2011-03-23 21:45

    Fergie's a good coach but suffers from a supersized head. However, even as a Liverpool supporter, i have to agree with him if he says english officials are really poor. The Luiz tackle on Hernandes was a horror show. Sorry, but Atkinson and that other fool who whistled in the world cup are pathetic and, what is even more irritating, there's no come-backs for refs who do wrong. Refs can't get red-carded, they can't get fined, they can't get sold. And that does nothing for the quality of referees. Yes, here in SA it is even worse, I've seen it. But hey, what is not worse here than elsewhere? Crime?

  • PikeLee - 2011-03-24 08:37

    No, poor refereeing is damaging the integrity of the game! I watched that game, and the refereeing was terrible, not just mistakes were made, but complete lack of strength of character to make the correct decisions was severely lacking! Ferguson had every right to object. The game was a farce because of a poor slob they threw into a tough game.

  • mshayafe - 2011-03-24 09:02

    the FA should deal with poor officiating first that cost so many clubs it's ridiculous sometimes when you see some calls made by officials

  • Bandit - 2011-03-24 13:13

    everybody hates a revolutionary ..... that means you buggers .... the FA are a bunch of dusty old codgers who have allowed the incompetant refs to run away with their bad decisions. COntrol swings both ways if you censure the managers that complain then punish the refs that make such incredible blunders ----- i say fire that lots of these old muthers that are holding onto the power and bring in some new blood. Football belongs to us all and we are not going to let the "empire" dictate who is right and wrong.

  • Shankly - 2011-03-24 16:12

    And this is news? The bloke's been like this for ages.

  • DragonFly - 2011-03-30 16:34

    Should have thrown his tea-cup at him. Better still a boot. Who knows, might have walked off and joined the Spanish League ala Beckem.

  • Tombstone - 2011-04-01 09:55

    Imagine how angry he will be when United lose the Champions Cup and the League....

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