“Something is wrong when a top international like Rooney is seen doing something like this, as clear as day, and is allowed to get away without being punished. If it was any other club or player, you can bet your life he would have been sent off. But officials seem intimidated by the words ‘Rooney’ and ‘United’. Manchester United are allowed to get away with things the rest of us get pulled up for. And you can’t have one set of rules for one club and another for the rest.”

Every team gets decisions that go against them. Until there is video refereeing, and possibly even after that, we can’t rely on the right decision being made 100% of the time.

However, it is the decisions that are made by the FA after the game which can help prove bias. Manchester United have long argued that the FA make an example out of our players whilst some misguided people, like Dave Whelan above, think the FA let us get away with murder.

Wayne Rooney has been let off without punishment following him elbowing McCarthy in the head at the weekend against Wigan. People use this as proof that the FA treat United differently than other clubs.

Below you will find several examples of not just where the FA have treated United unfairly, but when in like for like examples, they have treated United more harshly. Being able to compare the more severe punishments handed out to our players for committing exactly the same cry as players from other teams who get off with lesser punishments makes a mockery of the claim United are favoured.

1. Pre-season friendlies

August 2nd 2010: Patrick Vieira is shown a straight red card in a pre-season friendly with Manchester City.

“If a player gets a red card in a friendly he gets a ban for his next friendly, not for competitive matches,” said a spokesperson for the FA.

Punishment: N/A

August 4th 2006: Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes sent off for Manchester United in pre-season Amsterdam Tournament.

“At a Disciplinary Commission hearing, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes had claims for wrongful dismissal rejected and will therefore both serve three-match suspensions,” read an FA statement.

Punishment: 3 match ban in the league.

August 3rd 2003: Steven Gerrard and Neil Mellor sent off for Liverpool in pre-season Amsterdam Tournament.

Punishment: N/A

2. Celebrations

January 22nd 2006: Gary Neville celebrates last minute winner in front of opposition Liverpool fans by grabbing his badge and punching his fists in the air.

Punishment: £5,000 fine.

January 14th 2006: Robbie Fowler celebrates a goal for Manchester City in front of the opposition United fans by doing a ‘five finger salute’ in reference to the five European Cups Liverpool have won.

Punishment: N/A

3. Drugs tests

2003: Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand missed a drugs test. (Rio tried to arrange a return to Carrington whilst the drug testers were still there but they said no, despite staying for a further half an hour. Read about this unjust treatment in more detail)

Punishment: Eight month ban and £50,000 fine

2002: Manchester City’s Christian Negouai missed a drugs test.

Punishment: £2,000 fine

4. Verbal abuse of the ref

January 16th 2011: Rafael da Silva shouts at referee Mike Dean and gets in his face after being wrongly shown a second yellow card.

Punishment: £8,000 fine.

March 10th 2010: Steven Gerrard tells Andre Marriner to “fuck off” and sticks his fingers up at him after a freekick is awarded against him for a two footed tackle from behind.

Punishment: N/A

5. Forearm swings

January 26th 2010: Rio Ferdinand swings his arm at Craig Fagan in an off ball incident against Hull.

Punishment: 4 match ban (3 matches + 1 for appealing)

September 23rd 2010: Javier Mascherano swings his arm at Jermaine Beckford in an off ball incident against Leeds.

Punishment: N/A

6. Elbows

March 26th 2011: Wayne Rooney elbows James McCarthy in the head in an off the ball clash.

Punishment: N/A

September 25th 2010: Steven Gerrard elbow Danny Welbeck in the head.

Punishment: N/A

March 15th 2010: Steven Gerrard elbows Michael Brown in the head in an off the ball clash.

Punishment: N/A

7. The Derby

September 20th 2009: Craig Bellamy walks over to a restrained fan on the pitch and slaps him across the face.

Punishment: Warning of future conduct.

September 20th 2009: Shay Given runs to the Streford End, jumping up and down, pumping his fists in the air in celebration of a late Craig Bellamy goal.

Punishment: N/A

September 20th 2009: Gary Neville runs in the direction of the opposition City fans in celebration of an even later Michael Owen goal.

Punishment: Warning about future conduct.

8. Miscellaneous

The treatment of Patrice Evra by the FA. There is no comparisons for this as no other players that we known of have been the target for racial abuse by a club’s groundstaff after a game. Please take time to read:
The FA’s Evra Report – United Perspective
FA admit Evra case mistakes
Ferguson: Worst Example Of FA Treating Us Unfairly