Manchester United: Alex Ferguson's Top 5 Misdemeanour Fines
Sir Alex Ferguson has been in the management game long enough to know how to keep his nose clean, but occasionally his emotions get the better of him.
This week, the Manchester United boss was handed an FA misconduct charge for comments made about a linesman in the recent Premier League draw with Tottenham.
This comes just a few weeks after he escaped punishment for excessively haranguing the officials in the Red Devils' Boxing Day tie with Newcastle.
Here are the five most notable occasions on which the legendary manager has had to pay out for his words and actions.
Questioning Referee Martin Atkinson's Integrity
Prior to Manchester United's March 2011 trip to Chelsea, referee Martin Atkinson had officiated 12 matches at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues winning 11 of them.
The visitors lost the fixture 2-1, and Ferguson was incensed by several David Luiz challenges that went unnoticed and a "soft" 80th-minute penalty decision. After the match, he said (via The Guardian):
"You hope you get a really strong referee in games like this," he said. "It was a major game for both clubs and you want a fair referee, you know ... You want a strong referee, anyway, and we didn't get that."
Fergie contested a subsequent FA charge for the controversial comments, and due to his reluctance to accept the accusation of improper conduct, was fined £30,000 and slapped with a five-match ban.
Claiming the Champions League Draw Was Fixed
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The 2012-13 Champions League round of 16 draw gave exactly the same results as the rehearsal draw, prompting some to suspect foul play.
Ten years previously, Sir Alex called shenanigans on the quarterfinal draw, claiming it was biased toward Spanish and Italian teams.
Six of the final eight sides were Italian and Spanish, so it is hard to imagine exactly how the draw was biased—perhaps the fact that no Spanish or Italian teams faced each other aroused his suspicion.
Defaming Referee Alan Wiley
In October 2009, Sunderland were heading for their first victory at Old Trafford since 1968 when Anton Ferdinand scored a 94th-minute own goal to make the scoreline 2-2.
Clearly not content with salvaging a draw from the jaws of defeat in "Fergie Time," the manager rampaged against referee Alan Wiley, claiming he "just wasn't fit enough" to officiate the tie.
The enraged Manchester United manager was given a four-match touchline ban—two of them suspended—and a fine of £20,000 for his comments.
Wiley also had a case to sue the Scot for defamation, but eventually decided against it.
Ranting at Referee Mike Dean
Manchester United won a thrilling league game against Hull 4-3 in November 2008, but three points was not enough for Fergie to hold back from offloading vitriol at match official Mike Dean.
The Scotsman was incensed that Hull were awarded a dubious penalty for a Rio Ferdinand challenge, and that Hull defender Andy Turner was not sent off for a challenge on Michael Carrick.
He was fined £10,000 and handed a two-match ban for his outburst, meaning he missed a League Cup victory over Blackburn and the 1-0 defeat of Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Ferguson claimed the FA were "dying" to give him another punishment, but apparently learned little from the experience. Mike Dean was once again the recipient of a rant in the aforementioned Boxing Day match with Newcastle this season.
In that instance, Dean chose not to report the behavior that would almost certainly have warranted another ban.
"Abusing and Insulting" Referee Mark Clattenburg
In the first half of Manchester United's 1-0 loss to Bolton at the Reebok Stadium in November 2007, Fergie felt aggrieved with the rough treatment his players were receiving from Gary Megson's side.
At halftime, the manager took it upon himself to approach referee Mark Clattenburg to "tell him exactly what I thought."
For "using abusive and insulting words towards an official," Ferguson was sent to the stands for the second half, and was subsequently handed a two-game ban and a £5,000 fine.
Later in the 2007-08 season, Sir Alex received another charge for alleging that referee Keith Hackett "was not doing his job properly" in an FA Cup loss to Portsmouth.