Sir Alex Ferguson faces FA disciplinary action after he criticised referee Alan Wiley’s fitness this weekend. Ferguson accused the 49-year-old Burntwood-born official of not being fit enough to officiate a Premier League game and taking rests during Manchester United’s draw with Sunderland.
“I was disappointed with the referee,” said Ferguson after the game.
“He didn’t add on any time for the goal. He played four minutes and two seconds.
“He was also walking up the pitch for the second goal needing a rest. He was not fit enough for a game of that standard.
“The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. He was not fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher’s dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn’t fit.
“He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest.”
The FA issued an edict this summer halting managers from speaking about officials before matches, although they are free to discuss referee’s performances in the context of the game. However, no implication of bias or comments of a personal nature are allowed.
It’s not the first time the rotund official has faced a Ferguson tirade. Wiley awarded a penalty to Chelsea in April 2008, when United lost at Stamford Bridge. He also officiated the match between United and Liverpool at Old Trafford last season when he sent off Nemanja Vidic.
But Wiley was also the fourth official when United beat Manchester City in September and appeared to share a joke with Ferguson on the touchline.