Sir Alex Ferguson has been given a 5 match ban for his comments about Martin Atkinson at the end of our 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

For the second year running against Chelsea, Atkinson made crucial mistakes which changed the outcome of the game. John Terry blocked an on target Nani shot with his arm whilst David Luiz managed to stay on the pitch after committing three yellow card offences, one of which a deliberate trip on Rooney off the ball as he was running in to the box.

These decisions lead to the manager implying Atkinson wasn’t a “fair” referee.

On top of the ban he will receive a £30,000 fine.

The five games (two of which suspended after calling overweight and unfit referee Alan Wiley “not fit”) would indicate United being made an example of yet again, with other managers doubting the fairness of a referee after a game yet facing no punishment. Ferguson will be missing for our FA Cup semi-final against City at Wembley as well as Premier League clashes with Bolton, West Ham, Fulham and Everton.

All managers want is a fair referee

Tony Pulis – “Surprised to see [Dean] back on one of our games with his record against Stoke.” No punishment.

Roberto Mancini – “It’s normal – the big club usually has different treatment.” No punishment.

Sir Alex Ferguson – “Want a fair ref, a strong ref anyway, we didn’t get that. When I saw who was reffing it I feared the worst.” 5 match ban, £30k fine.

If Sir Alex appeals the decision, he runs the risk of being given a 6 match ban. This is a touchline ban so the manager will be able to talk to the players in the dressing room.