Sir Alex Ferguson was today given a five-match touchline ban and a £30,000 fine for his verbal attack on referee Martin Atkinson at Chelsea last month, the Football Association said.
In what he felt was a perfectly justifiable assessment of Atkinson’s performance, the Manchester United boss questioned why the Yorkshire-based official had been given the game.
He criticised Atkinson’s failure to send Blues defender David Luiz off for fouls on Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney after the Brazilian had already been booked, then expressed comments the FA disciplinary panel felt had questioned the official’s integrity.
“You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway - and we didn’t get that,” said Ferguson in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat.
“I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst.”
Ferguson will spend the whole of April in the stands.