Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has avoided a touchline ban for his criticism of Simon Beck -- a linesman during the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on January 20-- but he has been fined £12,000 by the Football Association (FA). Here is the statement the FA released today on their official site:
"Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £12,000 in relation to media comments made after Manchester United’s game at Tottenham Hotspur on 20 January 2013.
It was alleged that the Manchester United manager’s post-match media comments implied that the match official was motivated by bias.
Ferguson had denied the misconduct charge and requested a paper hearing at which the Independent Regulatory Commission found proven the breach of FA Rule E3."
Here are the comments that originally got Ferguson in hot water:
"It was a clear penalty and he was definitely brought down. He put his leg in and the linesman was right there facing it. I thought the linesman had a very poor game. I thought he was disappointing...
We got a bit of a bad break. I think we should have had a throw-in down our side of the pitch but that linesman never gave us a thing all day. For me, it was a poor performance by him. He never saw the penalty kick from Wayne Rooney and some other decisions. We remember him well from his time at the Chelsea game when [Didier] Drogba was three yards offside and he gave onside. I think he had a shocking game today and I’m disappointed in his performance, I really am. I think he has had a bad game and we never got anything from that side of the pitch."
- Ferguson | Source: Sky Sports
After those post-game comments from the gaffer, the FA charged the Scotsman. He then appealed but ultimately, this £12k fine came about. All in all, this is pretty much a nonevent. Ferguson, though, if he offers similar criticism of officials later this season after a domestic match, could be more harshly punished next time.