Sir Alex Ferguson admits he held out little hope of the FA reducing Wayne Rooney’s two-game ban for swearing.Rooney issued an apology within hours of the incident which happened after he scored his third goal in United’s 4-2 English Premier League victory over West Ham last Saturday.
And the club also decided to appeal the initial two-match ban which was given by the FA after the striker admitted a charge for ‘the use of offensive, insulting and/or abusive language’.
Despite the appeal, there was no reduction on the two-match ban, which Rooney thought was ‘excessive’. Ferguson was not surprised.
The manager suggested the media was to blame for the ban, and also addressed the comments of the Midlands policeman who said Rooney would have been ‘locked up’ if he had sworn like that on the street.
“We put an appeal in,” Ferguson said. “But I don’t think we expected to get a result if I’m being honest.”
“That’s the media. They go to people. They ask everyone their opinion. There is an issue in the modern world of a need to be noticed.”
“There is a guy, sitting down there in the Midlands, probably never been recognised in his life, managed to elevate himself to whatever it is in the police force. Have you ever seen Birmingham on a Saturday night? Do police ever arrest anyone for swearing on a Saturday night? Dearie me. That is a good one.”
The first of Rooney’s two-game ban is Saturday’s clash with 10th-placed Fulham at Old Trafford.
And Ferguson revealed the England striker will not be the only absentee, after confirming he would make ‘big changes’ to keep the side fresh for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg with Chelsea.
“Rafael won’t make tomorrow,” Ferguson confirmed. “He’s got bruising, we sent him off for a scan.”
“But I’ve got John O’ Shea and Wes Brown fit again (who can replace him) which is good news.”
“I’ll have to think about what team I play with the (Chelsea) game on Tuesday night.”
“There’s always an issue when you have a run of important games. You’re dependent on your squad not your team. There’ll be big changes of course.”