Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson Escapes Punishment for Ref Rant

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Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson Escapes Punishment for Ref Rant
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Alex Ferguson has words with match officials

The English Football Association has confirmed it will not punish Sir Alex Ferguson for his words and actions toward referee Mike Dean.  

When Manchester United's manager stormed off the touchline to confront the official during a tense Boxing Day match against Newcastle United, the crowd noise obstructed his words, but one did not have to be an expert lip-reader to see the 70-year-old's words and body language.

Dean had just overruled the linesman and given Newcastle a second goal, enraging Ferguson, who gestured and fumed at Dean—giving him the famous "hair dryer treatment" before rounding on the other officials present.  

Other managers have been sent into the stands for similar offences: The Guardian reports Aston Villa's Paul Lambert was fined and served a one-match ban for railing against match officials in late November, while Ferguson's counterpart for the day, Newcastle's Alan Pardew served a two-match touchline ban and paid a hefty £20,000 fine back in September after pleading guilty to "improper conduct" when he appeared to push a linesman.

The FA reports it will not pursue a touchline ban for Ferguson because Dean did not mention the incident in his match report.  

Manchester United won the match 4-3 thanks to an equalizing goal from Robin van Persie and a late winner from Javier Hernandez.

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