Alex Ferguson is in siege mode. The manager of soccer club Manchester United has been so stung by widespread criticism of his actions this week that he claims the sole person not to have commented is Barack Obama — and that’s only because he’s busy trying to stop the U.S. economy falling over a fiscal cliff.
Ferguson, who recently gave a talk on his management techniques at Harvard, has been under fire following a verbal exchange with referee Mike Dean and his assistants during Wednesday’s controversial 4-3 win over Newcastle.
It led to Newcastle manager Alan Pardew claiming that Ferguson should have been punished for his protests over Dean’s failure to disallow Jonny Evans’ own-goal for what he believed to be offside.
The Scot was furious that Dean overruled his assistant, Jake Collin, who had flagged to give Papiss Cisse offside before Evans diverted the ball into his own net.
Ferguson, who turns 71 on December 31, will escape punishment from the English Football Association because the incident was not mentioned in the referee’s report, much to Pardew’s astonishment.
It was the second match in four days where Ferguson has courted controversy, having claimed that his striker Robin van Persie “could have been killed” after Swansea’s Ashley Williams kicked a ball at his head in Sunday’s 1-1 draw.
And the United manager has defended his conduct, stating that everybody is suddenly keen to have an opinion — apart from the man inside the White House.
“The problem for me and Manchester United is that the profile of the club is huge,” Ferguson told reporters.
“Alan Pardew has come out and criticized me. Alan Pardew is the worst at haranguing referees — his whole staff (do it) every game. He was at it for the whole game on Wednesday.
“He shoves the linesman and laughs about it and he has to cheek to criticize me. It is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way.
“The press have a good field day. They have addressed every possible angle, the only one they have not asked is Barack Obama — he is too busy.
“It’s unfortunate that I carry that, because I’m the manager of the biggest club in the world. I’m not like Newcastle — a wee club in the North East.
“That is the facts of life. I was demonstrative but I was not out of order. That has been overplayed by the press. You’ve all had a field day.”
Read more: CNN