Lets face it Alex Ferguson is above the law, the FA and his Club and he knows it…

Lets face it Alex Ferguson is above the law, the FA and his Club and he knows it…

OK no TGIF for two weeks due to International duties, and I thought that today I would discuss non Arsenal matters on and off the field. The most obvious topic that gets me hot under the collar is what I perceive to be FA bias towards SAF. Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Man U. Now I have in the past called the FA the Ferguson Association for they seem totally unable to act with any kind of authority against him. He seems to be able to get away with warnings about his future conduct without any real deterrent to prevent his further ill judged outbursts. His players have benefited from this reluctance to act and I recall a televised incident where Wayne Rooney uttered more expletives in 30 seconds that could even be lip read by most seven year olds!!!
I don’t respect the man, in my opinion he is an arrogant Scotsman who now believes that he is above reproach and immune to any substantive sanctions. His famed hair dryer treatment confirms what we see of him in the media, which is in short Alex Ferguson is a bully, and a conceited one at that. But his last attack on the referee Alan Wiley has really presented a dilemma to the FA. If they do not take unprecedented firm action against SAF, then their multi-million pound campaign on respect will be dead in the water. We are all holding our breath to see if the FA have the balls to take him on. Then of course what are we to make of Manchester United Football Club? How does the behaviour of it’s manager reflect upon the reputation and tradition of this big club? Perhaps this confirms what we all suspect, that SAF is bigger than Man U and until someone is brave enough to stand up to him, his behaviour will not change.
The allegation was that Alan Wiley was unfit and his proof was that the official took 30 seconds to book players was grossly unfair for an official who ran over 11K in 90 minutes of officiating. Now I like to think that I keep myself fit, and at the gym that I attend, I run 7 minute Km and therefore if I ever attempted to run 11k in one session above my usual 5K it would take me around 80 minutes to complete. But the difference between me and Alan Wiley is that I don’t stop every 2 minutes or so as the ball goes out of play, or 30 seconds to book players. So from my standpoint well played Mr Wiley, you are indeed fit. The professional referees also have fitness tests that prove they are incredibly fit for men of their age.
The allegation was not only defamatory but amounted to further bullying of officials. There are some referees who never seem to get the prize fixtures at Old Trafford and it can affect their careers. How so? Well I heard an interview on radio 5 live recently where Geoff Winter a retired ref recounted how after having sent SAF to the stands for abusive language to the officials, he never refereed another game at Old Trafford for 2 years. Other colleagues of his had also fallen foul of SAF and his band of lawyers during hearings and felt as if they themselves were the offenders rather than SAF. Referees aspiring to get onto the A list for FIFA so that they can be selected for blue riband tournaments like the World Cup and European Championships, need to have refereed high profile matches in the Premier League, and unfortunately, with Man U ‘s success, many of these matches tend to involve the Manchester outfit.
Which really comes to the conclusion of this blog. If SAF, the leading manager in the history of the Premier League now regards himself as above the common law of decency and feels able to harass referees without fear of sanctions, then in effect could the FA be aiding and abetting SAF in fixing which referees are acceptable to SAF? in the sense that the consequence of only having officials who may shrink from taking firm action against Man U players or SAF himself for fear of harming their careers. Now I do not for one moment suggest that SAF is himself trying to influence the outcome of matches, neither do I accuse SAF of match fixing, but if we have officials who are aspiring to become top level refs, and if they are aware of the experience of Geoff Winter, is it not plausible that their actions may be subliminally influenced by that history?
What ever the outcome of this enquiry by the FA, the revelations by Geoff Winter CANNOT be ignored and the impact of any punishment must be severe and credible if the FA are to save their RESPECT campaign. I for one won’t hold my breath, and I predict that the FA (Ferguson Association) will find a way to make lots of noise without any real punishment. SAF will issue a pathetic apology and the FA will lose lots of potential recruits for their refereeing training courses. I have heard comments from the Prospect Union head who suggested that a touchline ban or fine would be like water off a ducks back and that Alex Ferguson should face a ban from being able to enter the stadium or coach Man U for three matches. I would go further, I would hang, draw and quarter SAF and throw his remains to the Citeh supporters outside Eastlands… happily I am not in charge of the FA.

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