Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hit out at Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham.
Scudamore has accused managers of not showing enough respect to officials and Ferguson is currently serving a five-match FA touchline for criticising referee Martin Atkinson following his side’s defeat at Chelsea.
“Richard Scudamore has not got a lot to do, has he? He’s trying to elevate the Premier League and fine, good – that’s his job. I don’t think managers disrespect referees,” Ferguson said on Friday.
“I got done for what I considered a fair comment but he didn’t, he gave me a five-match ban. That’s fine, but that doesn’t say we don’t respect referees.”
“It’s a difficult job, we all know that, you wouldn’t referee a game would you? But I think Richard is jumping off a high diving board here without thinking about it.”
With just eight games remaining the Premier League title race is still wide open.
United lead the way but Arsenal, Chelsea and even Tottenham are still in with a chance of lifting the trophy in May, according to Ferguson.
“With eight games to go you can’t exclude anyone. Arsenal, ourselves, Chelsea and Tottenham – you can’t exclude anyone,” he said.
“Whoever becomes the most consistent will win this league, I can guarantee that. We want to be consistent, we hope we will be and if we are, we have a good chance.”
“We are involved in three competitions which is great. The difference between now and 1999 [when United won the treble] is that nobody was injured then, apart from Henning Berg in the Champions League final.”
“At this moment in time this next few weeks are crucial to get players back from injury.”
Midfielders Anderson (knee) and Ji-Sung Park (hamstring) are both doubts.
Defenders Rio Ferdinand (calf), John O’Shea (hamstring) and Rafael (hamstring), and midfielders Owen Hargreaves (shoulder) and Darren Fletcher (virus) are all missing.
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