Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has launched a campaign which mirrors what the FA are doing with their ‘Respect’ initiative to ensure that referees are given respect. According to our football authorities, respect is something that should be given freely, not earnt.

After referee Martin Atkinson was guilty of making match deciding incorrect decision in two consecutive games against Chelsea, Ferguson believes there’s nothing wrong with claiming the referee wasn’t “fair”.

“Richard Scudamore doesn’t have a lot to do,” said Ferguson. “He is trying to elevate the Premier League. That is good. That is his job. But I feel he is jumping off a high diving board here without thinking about it. It is not an issue for me. I don’t think managers disrespect referees. I got done for what I considered a fair comment. They gave me a five-match ban. That’s fine. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect referees. It is a difficult job. We all know that. I wouldn’t referee a game. We do need them.”