Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sir Alex Ferguson hit with five-match touchline ban by FA

Sir Alex Ferguson has been banned from the touchline for Manchester United's next five matches and will have to watch the FA Cup semi-final from the stands after being found guilty of improper conduct at a Football Association hearing.

Ferguson has also been fined £30,000 after the FA decided to take a hardline stance over his decision to fight the charge rather than accept he had gone too far in his criticisms of the referee Martin Atkinson after the defeat at Chelsea earlier this month.


Ferguson's ban does not start until 22 March, meaning he will be available for Bolton Wanderers's visit to Old Trafford on Saturday. Therefore his ban will start with a trip to West Ham, followed by a home match against Fulham and the all-Manchester semi-final at Wembley. However, Ferguson already had a suspended two-match touchline ban hanging over him from a previous charge, when he had accused Alan Wiley of being physically unfit to referee in the Premier League.

That has now been invoked, meaning Ferguson will also be banned from United's dugout in a home game against Everton and the visit to Arsenal.

The case against Ferguson was that he alleged bias on Atkinson's part by saying that he should not have been appointed for the Chelsea game because the occasion demanded "a fair referee." Ferguson, who had been incensed by Atkinson's officiating of a 2-1 defeat for the Premier League leaders, had decided to fight the charge against the recommendation of United's legal advisers.

Ferguson has 48 hours to appeal.



"The young boy showed a bit of inexperience but they got him sent off, everyone sprinted towards the referee - typical Germans."
- Sir Alex on Rafael's sending off against Bayern Munich as United crashed out of the Champions League last season.

"When an Italian says it's pasta I check under the sauce to make sure. They are innovators of the smokescreen."
- Sir Alex on the Italians.

"Jose understands winning and losing are twins in a way. When you win you don't gloat and when you lose you don't go bananas."
- Fergie on Jose Mourino.

"You can't applaud a referee."
- Sir Alex on officials.

- Ferguson on the media after he was criticised for signing Juan Sebastien Veron"
"I'm no f****** talking to you. He's a f****** great player. Yous are f******* idiots."
- Ferguson on the media after he was criticised for signing Juan Sebastien Veron.

"They are a small club, with a small mentality"
- Sir Alex on big-spending Manchester City.

"They say he's an intelligent man, right? Speaks five languages! I've got a 15-year-old boy from the Ivory Coast who speaks five languages!"
- Fergie has a dig at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

"He's a novice - he should keep his opinions to Japanese football"
- Again on Wenger, shortly after his arrival at Highbury.

"My greatest challenge is not what's happening at the moment, my greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f*****g perch. And you can print that."
- Sir Alex dismisses the 2002/03 title as his greatest feat, instead endearing himself to Liverpool fans.

"You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway - and we didn't get that. I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst."
- Ferguson hits out at referee Martin Atkinson after suffering a defeat to Chelsea

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