Sir Alex Ferguson(credit: Ryu Voelkel
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been fine £30,000 and hit with a five-match touchline ban.
The 69-year-old Scot has been found guilty of improper conduct by the Football Association over comments he made about referee Martin Atkinson following the recent defeat at Chelsea.
Ferguson was incensed by Atkinson’s decision not to show a second yellow card to David Luiz after a foul on Wayne Rooney, and was also unhappy with the penalty decision that led to Chelsea’s winner.
Nemanja Vidic was also sent off late in the game, and in a post-match interview with MUTV Ferguson claimed: “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 had a suspended two-match ban hanging over him from last season, will now be absent from the dugout for two huge games coming up.
Unless United rearrange their Premier League clash with Newcastle United for before May 1, Ferguson will be banned from what could be a title-deciding clash with Arsenal, and he is also set to miss next month’s huge FA Cup semi-final showdown with Manchester City at Wembley Stadium.
However, the ban does not come into effect until March 22, meaning he will be on the touchline for Saturday’s match against local rivals Bolton Wanderers.