The fallout from Manchester United’s St Stephen's Day clash with Newcastle continued yesterday as Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson launched an astonishing tirade at Magpies counterpart Alan Pardew.
Ferguson said Pardew was “the worst” at haranguing referees and accused the Newcastle boss of “forgetting the help” he offered him at difficult stages of his managerial career.
The Scot has been the centre of attention since his march on to the Old Trafford pitch on St Stephen's Day to condemn referee Mike Dean for awarding the visitors’ controversial second goal in the hosts’ 4-3 win.
Dean confirmed on Thursday he would not be reporting Ferguson, even though the United boss confronted not only the referee, but also the fourth official and assistant referee over their view of Jonny Evans’ own goal.
This has led to further allegations that Ferguson benefits from favourable treatment from the Football Association, even though it is only two seasons ago that he was forced to serve a five-match touchline ban following criticism of Martin Atkinson at Chelsea.
Ferguson insists he did nothing wrong, and defended his conduct, admitting he was “an emotional guy”.
However, he is clearly furious with Pardew, who on Thursday claimed Dean might have handled the situation in a different way and that Ferguson was lucky not to get sent off.
“Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me,” Ferguson said. “Alan Pardew is the worst at haranguing referees. His whole staff, every game.
“He was at it the whole game on Wednesday. He shoves the referee and makes a joke of it and has the cheek to criticise me. It is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him.
“The press have had a field day out of it. They have addressed every possible avenue. The only one they have left out is Barack Obama. He is too busy.
“That is unfortunate. I carry that because I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. I am not like Newcastle, a wee club in the north east.”
The bitter pay-off line is sure to infuriate Newcastle, while Pardew will doubtless take issue with Ferguson’s assessment of the situation.
The “shove” incident Ferguson mentioned refers to Pardew being given a two-match touchline ban and fined £20,000 after accepting an FA charge of improper conduct for pushing an assistant referee earlier this season.
He was sent off during the 2-1 win over Tottenham on August 18 at St James’ Park when he pushed Peter Kirkup after claiming the ball had gone out of play during a Spurs attack.