Fergie warned over referee comments

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been warned about his future behaviour after making comments about referee Howard Webb.The Scot made comments about Webb ahead of his team’s crucial 2-1 English Premier League win over Chelsea on May 8.

The Football Association (FA) said on Tuesday that Ferguson had broken the rule that forbids manager’s from talking about referees prior to a match.

“It was a minor breach but a breach nevertheless,” an FA statement said.

The chairman of the commission said Ferguson’s minor breach should act as a warning to all managers.

“This rule was brought in at the start of the 2009/10 season and this was reiterated formally to all clubs again on 21 October 2010,” the chairman said.

“This is a clear breach of the rule and it is the first such a matter has been placed in front of a commission.”

“As a result of this charge, the commission were aware of other occasions where pre-match comments were made by other managers.”

“In this case, it was considered to be a minor breach and it should be taken as a warning to all managers in the future that any such breach, even positive comments, are likely to result in a charge by the FA.”

United clinched their 19th league title with a 1-1 draw at Blackburn on Saturday, but it was the win over Chelsea on May 8 that put them well-clear in the title race.

Ferguson had made comments about Webb two days before the game, but was not critical of the official.

“We are getting the best referee. There is no doubt about that,” Ferguson said in the lead-up to the Chelsea clash.

“But (getting a bad decision) is definitely our big fear.”

Ferguson also received a five-game touchline ban and 30,000-pound fine for criticism of referee Martin Atkinson earlier in the year.