In 2008, following a game between Chelsea and United at Stamford Bridge, Evra had to be held back from one of the groundstaff who had shouted insults at him.
According to the FA report, Evra admitted to pushing Jason Griffin, the Head Groundsman, but he denied punching Sam Bethell, a member of the groundstaff.
Several United players were taking part in a warm-down after the game when Evra had to jump out of the way to avoid Bethell's lawnmower. Every visiting club is entitled to take part in a warm-down session on the pitch after a game, yet the Chelsea groundstaff were seemingly making it difficult for United to do this. Premier League rules state that it can take no longer than 15 minutes and penalty areas cannot be used.
United's first team fitness coach, Tony Strudwick, instructed the players to move to the penalty area though, after not being given the room to take part in their routines on the pitch. The FA report revealed there were 17 members of groundstaff on the pitch at the time. Given the warm-down should only take quarter of an hour, it was strange that the groundstaff didn't just wait for United to finish, and one might suggest they were there to provoke the United players, who had just lost the game.
Studwick and Evra's account of what happened was very similar. Griffin was walking around with a pitchfork and was being aggressive, whilst Bethell was getting dangerously close to the players with the lawnmower. When Studwick confronted Griffin about this, he said "I'll shove the ******* fork up your arse."
Evra tried to get between Studwick and Griffin, but the FA dismissed the United version of events because of how Griffin came across in the witness box.
Bethel shouted abuse at Evra, although the player testified he didn't hear what it was. Bethel admitted he called Evra a "f*****g idiot." Bethel then claimed that Evra hit him on his right ear, meaning that right-handed Evra would have thrown a punch with his left hand. The DVD footage did not support the claim that Evra punched anyone, but he was still found guilty and banned for four games.
When United thrashed Chelsea 3-0 at Old Trafford in 2009, The Telegraph reported on Evra's dedication following the game.
I dedicate the victory over Chelsea to the English FA. I’m doing so because I am still unable to stomach having been given a four-match suspension by them. It is very pleasing to beat Chelsea by three goals, as they are one of our rivals for the title.