Official Controversy

Will Alex Ferguson be kicked out of football?

Union chief calls for over-the-top punishment

Alex Ferguson speaks clamly with Alan Wiley

In March 2008, Alex Ferguson was quoted as saying “the haranguing of referees is ridiculous,” a comment that sat well with the FA’s Respect campaign. The Manchester Utd manager seemed to forget this sentiment when he accused Alan Wiley of being “unfit” to officiate on Saturday, and could now be kicked out of the beautiful game. Possibly. Alan Leighton, the national secretary of Professionals’ trade union Prospect, told BBC Radio 5 Live:

“I think there has to be some recognition that this is a serious allegation that needs to be properly dealt with and punished severely.

“There are issues around suspension from the job that would be new territory that hasn’t happened before, but I think the FA has to grab the nettle on this one.

“There has to be some punishment that is going to stop people from doing this or otherwise we are going to see more and more of it.

“We have to talk about punishments that are going to really lead to a change in behaviour.”

The Spoiler agrees that Fergie should be reprimanded for his hypercritical attempts to undermine Wiley, but kicking him out of the game entirely would be far too harsh. Couldn’t they just make him wear a muzzle or something?

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