• Premier League

Ferguson hits back at Pardew in wake of ref rant

ESPN staff
December 28, 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson made a stinging response to Newcastle boss Alan Pardew's assertion that he should be punished for misconduct, branding Pardew's side a "wee club in the north east".

The FA confirmed on Thursday that Ferguson would not face any disciplinary action for his furious reaction to referee Mike Dean overruling assistant Jake Collin and awarding Newcastle's second goal in the Premier League leaders' 4-3 win at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.

Ferguson could not contain his anger and confronted Dean, Collin and fourth official Neil Swarbrick.

Pardew said of the incident on Thursday: "I think there were a lot of things the FA could look at. But it seems they are looking at none."

However, Ferguson used his press conference ahead of Saturday's home game against West Bromwich Albion to hit back at Pardew and the media for the coverage devoted to the issue.

"I was demonstrative but I was not out of order,'' he said. "The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy. It is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. Not Newcastle, a wee club in the north east.

"I was demonstrative. I am always demonstrative. Everyone knows that. I am an emotional guy. But I was not abusive. I shouted Mike over. We walked towards each other. I was only on (the pitch) three or four yards. That has been overplayed. The problem for me is that the profile of this club is huge.

"Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me. He is the worst at haranguing referees. He shoves them and makes a joke of it. How he can criticise me is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way."

Pardew was given a two-match touchline ban and fined £20,000 after accepting an FA charge of improper conduct for pushing assistant referee Peter Kirkup earlier this season.

He was sent off during the 2-1 win over Tottenham on August 18 at St James' Park when he pushed the official after claiming the ball had gone out of play during a Spurs attack.

United can go 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League on Saturday if they beat West Brom and champions Manchester City lose at Norwich.

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