Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez believes the Football Association are intimidated by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Spaniard was unimpressed by Ferguson's recent tirade against Andre Marriner who officiated United's 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.
Ferguson has also admitted a charge of improper conduct brought against him by the FA for comments he made earlier this month suggesting referee Alan Wiley was unfit.
The United boss then said Marriner did not have the necessary experience to take charge of his side's game at Anfield at the weekend.
Ferguson will face the FA at a personal hearing for his comments regarding Wiley, but Martinez believes the United manager is treated leniently by the authorities.
He told Spanish newspaper AS: "They (the FA) have just sanctioned Ferguson for saying that the referee was not fit enough and the truth is that they're almost apologising to him for punishing him.
"Any other coach would have been crushed for that.
"Ferguson has been here for a lifetime and that carries a lot of weight.
"He has his group of faithfuls, people who are committed to him: Steve Bruce, who was a player with him, Sam Allardyce, who thinks he will be his successor at Old Trafford, and others.
"On the other side there's Rafa Benitez and he gets attacked from all sides."