Sir Alex Ferguson leads a group of Barclays Premier League managers who gang up on Rafa Benitez, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez reportedly told a Spanish newspaper.
The Manchester United manager also gets preferential treatment from the football authorities, insists the DW Stadium chief.
Martinez accused Ferguson of having cronies throughout the top flight to lead the attack on his Liverpool rival Benitez and pointed the finger at Sunderland boss Steve Bruce and Blackburn's Sam Allardyce, alleges Madrid-based paper AS.
'Ferguson has his group of faithfuls, people who are committed tohim: Steve Bruce, who was a player with him, Sam Allardyce, who thinkshe will be his successor at Old Trafford, and others,' said Martinez.
'On the other side there's Rafa Benitez and he gets attacked from all sides.'
Game over: This gesture by Rafa Benitez upset Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce last season and led to accusations of disrespect from Ferguson
Martinez, today moved to categorically denied making the commentsabout Sir Alex Ferguson that have been attributed to him in a number ofmedia reports.
The former Swansea manager has referred the matter to the League Managers Association.
THE AS Q&A INTERVIEWQ: Does Ferguson have as much power as Benitez says?A: Yes, very much so. He has spent his whole life here and that counts for something. They have just charged him for accusing a referee of not being fit enough and the truth is that they almost were apologising for it. They would have crushed anyone else. Ferguson has a group of managers who are faithful to him. Steve Bruce, who played for him; Sam Allardyce, who think he will be his successor at Old Trafford and others. On the other side you have just Benitez and they are all giving him such a hard time. Spanish speakers judge for yourself - click here to read the full Q&A transcript - it's 1,300 words long and has been on the AS website since Sunday. Only now has Martinez taken issue with it.The rookie boss believes the Manchester United boss is given too muchlatitude by those who run the game in England, despite Fergusonadmitting a charge of improper conduct brought against him bythe FA.
That charge relates to his comments earlier this month thatreferee Alan Wiley was 'unfit' while Ferguson also questioned whetherAndre Marriner had the necessary experience to take charge of hisside's 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend.
Ferguson will face the FA at a personal hearing for his commentsregarding Wiley, but Martinez believes other managers would have beenhit with more decisive action than the Scot has so far.
'They (the FA) have just sanctioned Ferguson for saying thatreferee was not fit enough and the truth is that they're almostapologising to him for punishing him,' Martinez told Spanish newspaperAS.
Centre of a storm: Wigan boss Roberto Martinez accused Sam Allardyce (left) and Steve Bruce (right) of being Fergie's cronies
'Any other coach would have been crushed for that. Ferguson has been here for a lifetime and that carries a lot of weight.'
Ferguson was at the centre of another important refereeing decision during his side's 2-0 win at Barnsley in the Carling Cup.
Veteran United defender Gary Neville was sent off for a high tackle on Adam Hammill, but, Ferguson had no complaints.
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