Sir Alex Ferguson has accused Superintendent Mark Payne of 'needing to be noticed' after his pointed comments about Wayne Rooney yesterday.
Payne, responsible for managing responses to crime and operations in Wolverhampton, claimed he would have expected his officers to have arrested Rooney had the Manchester United striker replicated his four-letter outburst at Upton Park on Saturday in a public place.
The suggestion brought a withering response from Ferguson, who said: "Everyone has an opinion today. There is an issue in the modern world of a need to be noticed. There is a wee 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."
He added: "Have you ever seen Wolverhampton on a Saturday night? Do police ever arrest anyone for swearing on a Saturday night? Dearie me. That is a good one."
Payne said on his blog on policing: "If Rooney had behaved like that in Wolverhampton on Saturday night, I would have expected my officers to lock him up.
"People in positions of influence have an obligation to behave like human beings. It is not a lot to ask."
Mr Payne went on: "I have seen a thousand Rooneys, and I am sure most police officers will have.
"The same aggressive stance, the bulging eyes, the foul-mouthed rant, fists clenched, surrounded by his mates, all cheering him on.
"I have seen this on Friday and Saturday nights, as young men (and more often young ladies) engage in a 'good night out'.
"My officers will face more Rooneys over the weekend, no doubt somebody will be injured in some meaningless fight. An officer will have to go and tell a parent that their son or daughter is in hospital as a result."