Alex Ferguson blasts Premier League over Respect plans

01 April 2011 01:40
Sir Alex Ferguson has delivered a withering attack on Premier League chief Richard Scudamore after they vowed to clamp down on stars misbehaving.

It comes on the day Sportsmail launched a campaign to highlight players hounding referees and showing a lack of respect.

The Premier League insist they will enforce a tougher stance on bad behaviour from next season after a series of alarming incidents.

But Manchester United boss Ferguson, who is currently serving a five-match ban for criticising referee MartinAtkinson after the defeat to Chelsea last month, has criticsed Scudamore for his attempts to change attitudes of players.

Red rage: Man United players surround Martin Atkinson as he sends off Nemanja Vidic at Chelsea

        HAVE YOUR SAY.     Stamp it out! Join Sportsmail's campaign to wipe out ref rage Sportsmail has launched a campaign to crack down on abuse aimed at referees that has tainted the English game for too long. You can help us out by naming and shaming those players who continue to rage at refs. Give us your views on the campaign. TELL US WHAT YOU THINK He said: 'Richard Scudamore doesn't have a lot to do. He is trying to elevate the Premier League. That is good. That is his job.

'But I feel he is jumping off a high diving board here without thinking about it. It is not an issue for me. I don't think managers disrespect referees. I got done for what I considered a fair comment.

'They gave me a five-match ban. That's fine. That doesn't mean I don't respect referees. It is a difficult job. We all know that. I wouldn't referee a game. We do need them.'

Ferguson's comments came after the head of the players' union gave his backing to the Premier Leaguecrackdown.

The Premier League have announced it is ready to crack down on the mass dissent and vitriolic abuse of referees that has tainted the English game this season and Sportsmail intends to identifyand eradicate any unnecessary abuse of officials by players for the remainder of this season.

ProfessionalFootballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle insists there must beno grey areas in the new rules that run alongside the FA's Respect campaign.

Carlisle, who plays for Burnley, said: 'As long as the guidelines are clear we will support them.

'They need to make sure there are no grey areas so that referees can apply them consistently and players know where they stand.'

Carlisle said the PFA's annual meetings with the Referees' Association had shown there had been a drop in the number of incidents involving players, and claimed that when incidents did happen they were blown out of proportion.

He added: 'The number of incidents where referees are accosted are becoming fewer and fewer. It is just that where incidents are highlighted they now receive massive, global attention.

Time for change: Carlisle warned that the guidelines on the new rules must be made clear

'But the key is to make the guidelines clear because it can be a very emotive issue if it is subjective and incidents appear differently to different people.'

Carlisle said the new crackdown was not a sign that the Respect campaign had failed.

'Respect has not failed at all,' he said.'The Referees' Association themselves have agreed the number of incidents - and the scale of the incidents - is reducing.

'It is definitely not failing but we are always looking to improve the image ofthe game.'

The announcement by the Premier League follows a number of high-profile incidents this season culminating in Ferguson receiving a five-match touchline ban for his television outburst at Atkinson.

Stamp it out: Head of Players' union Clarke Carlisle has backed campaign to crackdown on bad behaviour

The League Managers' Association are expected to respond next week but with the proviso that more resources are dedicated to referees to improve decision-making.

Scudamore said: 'We do need to concentrate on the player and manager relationship with the referee this time, as every one of us knows that there have been elements of unacceptable behaviour.

'As to what we think is unacceptable; it's vitriolic abuse towards match officials and that has on occasions gone unpunished; the surrounding of referees is unacceptable; the goading of referees into trying to get opponents sanctioned we think is unacceptable; and also the undue criticism, where it spills over into questioning the referee's integrity or his honesty, is also unacceptable.'

 Stamp it out! Premier League promise to battle shameful abuse of refereesGraham Poll: Show some Respect. this abuse of referees must end nowMatt Lawton: No excuses - let's remove this stain on our proud gameDavid Bernstein: Dissent declined with Respect campaign but it's not enough

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Source: Daily_Mail