7 Oct 2009

United warned "bully" Ferguson will pay for ref rant

7:07 am on 7 October 2009

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been branded a "bully" for criticising a referee and warned that the English football champions could face a backlash from outraged match officials.

Ferguson has been sent a "please explain" by the Football Association over his labelling of referee Alan Wiley as "unfit" after United's 2-2 draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford.

The Scottish veteran faces a possible charge of improper conduct which could result in a fine or a touchline ban.

Leading English referees are outraged at Ferguson's comments with one telling the Guardian newspaper that the attack was cowardly.

Jeff Winter was until recently one of England's top match officials - he says Sir Alex wouldn't have said it to Wiley's face and may now find that United no longer get the benefit of the doubt on certain decisions.