Sir Alex Ferguson(credit: Ryu Voelkel
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been accused of undermining the Football Association’s respect campaign.
Ferguson is currently serving a five-match touchline ban following comments he made about referee Martin Atkinson following United’s 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
The Scot, 69, had told MUTV: “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, who already had a suspended two-game ban hanging over his head, was subsequently hit with a £30,000 and an extended ban from the dugout.
And the commission that handed down the penalty have now released their written reasons for the punishment.
It read: “The commission was referred to Sir Alex's previous disciplinary record, which included several misconduct charges.
“Although it was his entitlement to do so, he denied the present charge in the face of a strong, if not compelling, case against him.
“Although he denied any intention to question Mr Atkinson's integrity, he should, at the very least, have realised the import of what he said.
“It follows that any credit to which Sir Alex may have been entitled by admitting the charge, and reduction in sanction, was lost.
“In addition, it follows from his denial of the charge that no clarification or retraction of any of his comments has been made by Sir Alex and no apology given to Mr Atkinson, even after the charge had been brought.”
They added: “The commission regarded this as a serious aggravating feature and rejected Sir Alex's case that his use of the word 'fair' was effectively retracted during the interview itself.
“The commission also took the view that Sir Alex's comments undermined the attempts by the association, through its Respect campaign to encourage higher standards of behaviour within the game, including respect for officials.”