“We have a situation in England at the moment where we have the worst referees God ever created,” said Paddy Crerand. “The Paul Scholes sending-off decision, you couldn’t argue with that. But the Rooney dismissal was a farce. United are losing, he wants to get on with the game, he picks the ball up and hurls it about 40 yards straight to Jonny Evans. I know the referee’s in that vicinity but it landed straight at Evans’ feet. And the referee sent him off. I think referees want to do something to be noticed and get their photo in the papers. The sending-off of Rooney got him noticed. They talk about respect but referees have got to earn it.”

But who is the worst of the lot?

Martin Atkinson
Missed Ronaldo being throttled in the box against Middlesbrough in December.

Steve Bennett
Was the referee for our FA Cup final against Chelsea and came under some criticism for Ryan Giggs, who believed his goal should have stood.

On the up side, he sent off the gobby Argie midget at Old Trafford last season, before we went on to win 3-0.

Mark Clattenburg
He is a Newcastle fan, he sent a player off because Stevie Me told him to, and let Bolton get away with murder against us last season. However, my favourite Clattenburg story comes from 2002. After failing to send off Stockport County defender Dave Challinor for a foul on Martin Pringle where the player’s leg was broken in two places and his career effectively ended by the foul, Clattenburg opted to give only a yellow card to Challinor. He then booked Stockport’s then player-manager Carlton Palmer for dissent after arguing that his own player should have been sent off!

He is currently serving an eight month suspension.

Mike Dean
Was on the receiving end of a gobful of criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson earlier this season following our 4-3 victory over Hull. Fergie wasn’t too happy with the penalty decision that went against us or the fact Michael Turner was allowed to stay on the field, despite making a blatant yellow card worthy challenge on Michael Carrick after already being booked.

He was denied the opportunity to referee the 2006 FA Cup final because of the belief he would be unable to remain impartial towards his home town team, Liverpool.

Phil Dowd
Aside from his ‘performance’ at the weekend, missed a nailed on penalty for us earlier this season at West Ham.

Mike Riley
Apparently always gives us penalties but missed a blatant handball in this season’s 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle.

He also sent Fatboy off for nowt against the dippers earlier this season, giving Liverpool a much easier time of collecting three points. He also missed Bosingwa kicking Benayoun in the back.

Rob Styles
Don’t have much to complain about from a United perspective this season, given the penalty he awarded in our favour for nothing against Bolton. He also sent off a West Brom player in our 5-0 victory, which was later overturned by the FA.

Howard Webb
Sent off Cristiano Ronaldo against City, after our winger thought he’d heard a whistle so tried to catch the ball. Given that Ronaldo had a free header which he could have buried in the back of the net, it would have taken just the smallest amount of common sense for Webb to believe what Ronaldo was saying.

Alan Wiley
The ref for our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.