Sections of the press today claimed that referee Lee Mason was put under pressure by the FA to write in his match report that had he seen Wayne Rooney swearing at West Ham, he would have sent him off.

Sir Alex Ferguson has today questionned the future of Mason’s career, claiming that he will now have to send off any player that he hears swearing near a TV camera.

There is anger among Mason’s refereeing colleagues who believe he was ‘used’ by the FA who wanted Rooney to be charged but wanted the referee to review his decision and come up with the conclusion that led to a ban.

“I don’t know if you can use the word fair any longer,” said Ferguson. “We put an appeal in. The lad has apologised for swearing but I don’t think we expected to get a result. It will bring us together. It is a plus for us. But the one I feel sorry for is Lee Mason. He has put himself in a terrible position. He has been put under pressure. There is no doubt about that. It is hard to imagine the referee would send a player off for scoring a hat-trick. But he has now put himself in the spotlight. If he doesn’t send a player off for swearing the question will be, has he got double standards. It is a very difficult position the lad is in. I feel for him. I really do. I don’t know where his career is going to go now. I think he was put under pressure.”