18 May 2011

Ferguson and Ancelotti warned by FA

6:05 am on 18 May 2011

The Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti have received warnings from the Football Association for saying referee Howard Webb was good at his job.

Ferguson had called Webb "the best referee in the country" before the official took charge of United's 2-1 Premier League victory over Chelsea earlier this month, while Ancelotti described him as a "fantastic referee" prior to the Old Trafford meeting.

FA regulations make it clear managers are not allowed to comment on referees before a game, regardless of whether the statements are positive or negative.

Ferguson is unlikely to let the warning spoil his jubilant mood after leading United to a record 19th league title at the weekend but he may be more careful about what he says before Monday's final league game of the season against Blackpool.

The United manager was charged with improper conduct over the comments, which came two months after he received a five-match touchline ban for criticising referees.