After hearing that the FA have charged Sir Alex Ferguson for the comments he made about Howard Webb, you have no choice but to laugh. The FA’s obsession with our club and manager is spiralling out of control. It doesn’t seem to matter to them whether they completely contradict themselves or expose double standards, they are determined to punish our club for anything possible.
Ahead of the Chelsea game, Sir Alex Ferguson was complimentary of the referee widely regarded to be the best in England, particularly after he was chosen to ref the World Cup final last summer.
“We are getting the best referee, there is no doubt about that,” Ferguson said. “But [getting a bad decision] is definitely our big fear. We have the players to do it all right. We just hope it’s our turn for a little bit of luck.”
In the last three league games between United and Chelsea, crucial match-deciding decisions went in Chelsea’s favour. Was it a surprise Ferguson’s feared another at such a crucial point in the season?
But Ferguson, like Carlo Ancelotti before the game, spoke highly of Webb.
“Howard Webb is a fantastic referee, he has the skills to handle the occasion,” said Ancelotti. “If the referee has no experience maybe you can be a little worried about this but with Webb there is no problem.”
Ancelotti clearly also spoke about his fear about referees getting decisions whilst praising him.
Rules state that no manager should speak about a referee before a match, but apparently the FA have no problem with the Chelsea boss speaking about and praising the referee, only the United boss. Are you sensing a pattern developing here?
“Pre-match comments concerning the appointed match officials for a particular fixture, whether the official is identifiable by name or by implication, are deemed by the FA to amount to improper conduct, in breach of FA Rule E3. We wish to make it clear any breach of the rule in respect of pre-match media comments will result in a formal disciplinary charge.”
This rules out the charge coming for Ferguson’s worrying about mistakes, rather, for simply talking about the ref, just like Ancelotti did.
As it turns out anyway, Webb got big decisions wrong anyway, all in Chelsea’s favour. John Terry tripped Antonio Valencia in the box and didn’t win the ball, but no penalty was given. Frank Lampard blocked a Valencia cross with a raised arm in the box, but no penalty was given. Also, Ivanovic made an awful challenge on Wayne Rooney when already on a yellow card, and despite blowing for a freekick, didn’t even speak to Ivanovic about the challenge, let alone give him the second yellow he deserved.
Sir Alex didn’t criticise Webb for getting these decisions wrong though, as he would have been charged. But charging a manager for praising a referee? Well, it could only happen to United, couldn’t it?
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