Manchester United should be docked points and Sir Alex Ferguson banned from the touchline for the rest of the season

by Paul Connolly

Monday, March 7th, 2011
 

The behaviour of Manchester United’s players and officials and executives has now become utterly indefensible.

Never mind the contempt with which Sir Alex Ferguson continues to treat match officials and broadcasters, even the club’s chief executive, David Gill, became embroiled in a heated exchange with the referees’ chief, Mike Riley on Sunday during United’s dismal capitulation to Liverpool.

Gill took the opportunity at half-time to harangue Riley in the directors’ box about the referee, Phil Dowd, and his, admittedly questionable, decision to not send off Jamie Carragher for the challenge that left a tearful Nani being taken off on a stretcher. The same Nani, by the way, who interrupted his writhing around in agony to leap to his feet to try to get Carragher sent off before falling to the ground again in tears.

Riley, understandably, vigorously defended Dowd in an argument that suggests that it’s not just Ferguson who thinks his team deserves special treatment. I doubt Gill sought out Riley to congratulate him on Dowd and his equally questionable decision to not dismiss Rafael – possibly the dirtiest full-back in the Premier League – for his two-footed assault later in the game.

At heart, though, this is about the club’s utter disdain for the Respect campaign which is aimed at offering some protection to referees against verbal and physical abuse. That the country’s most famous club clearly has no regard for the campaign – and has been at the forefront of referee harrassment for at least 25 years – is not in doubt. So much for setting an example.

What makes the club’s behaviour even more remarkable is the fact that only last week Wayne Rooney escaped punishment for a premeditated attack on a Wigan player and that they have long benefited from ‘Fergie-time’ at the end of matches.

When a club is so clearly contemptuous of authority there can only be one course of action – punishment with extreme prejudice. Deduct ten points with immediate effect and ban Ferguson from the touchline for the rest of the season. The alternative? Manchester United continue to ride roughshod over English football. They need to be punished and punished severely. And it needs to happen now.

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  • Coliemck

    Well done Jay mate.

    This bitter twisted cretin is typical of ABU ignorance.

    Well and truly put to bed Connollly you numpty.

  • Billy, Kent

    ca’nt Bleev wot am ssein now wi da mitey reds. fergy and the playaz are embrasin me now. dey need to stop bein big babys an be good loosers otherwize dey jus gona end up with nuthin an a laffin stock

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