After announcing that the FA would take no disciplinary action against Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, the Scot has launched into an attack on Alan Pardew and Newcastle labeling the Magpies as a "wee club". Pardew had previously stated that he felt the FA should take retrospective action against Ferguson for his tirade aimed at referee Mike Dean and his linesman during their Premier League encounter.
Ferguson is no stranger to run-ins with referees, often getting criticized for his rants and occasionally receiving a suspension as a result. Wednesday's match against Newcastle offered one such flash point when Dean overruled his linesman and awarded the Tyneside club an own goal. Ferguson then flew into a rage against Dean and Jake Collin but action by Dean was never taken and the FA cannot take retrospective action against the United manager. Pardew claimed Dean would be disappointed to have not taken action but Ferguson has defended his rant and criticized the Newcastle boss.
"I was demonstrative but I was not out of order", Ferguson said. "The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy. It is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. Not Newcastle, a wee club in the northeast. I was demonstrative. I am always demonstrative. Everyone knows that. I am an emotional guy. But I was not abusive. I shouted Mike over. We walked towards each other. I was only on [the pitch] three or four yards. That has been overplayed. The problem for me is that the profile of this club is huge. Alan Pardew has come out and criticized me. He is the worst at haranguing referees. He shoves them and makes a joke of it. How he can criticize me is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way."
Pardew has this season been suspended for pushing a referee during his sides match with Tottenham but the incidents this season raise the question of how much freedom managers should have when protesting to the match officials. The managers do have a technical area that they cannot leave but many do and it may even be expected by officials in today's game. Ferguson's actions have brought widespread criticism including from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has had his share of confrontation with match officials.
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