Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has spoken to Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson in a bid to put an end to a row started by comments published in a Spanish newspaper.
Martinez was quoted as saying that the FA were scared to throw the book at Ferguson for his recent comments about the fitness of leading referee Alan Wiley.
Martinez reportedly told 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."
However, Martinez has now taken the step of talking to the managers in question to clear the air.
He added: "Those managers have probably been in this situation and know how things work. I have had a lot of support in that respect.
"To speak about other managers you need to win the league, but it is not in my nature to be outspoken.
"I have the utmost respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, Sam Allardyce, Steve Bruce and Rafael Benitez.
"Sir Alex is probably the best manager in the world, while Steve has worked under him and we have a good relationship as he worked at Wigan before me.
"As for Sam I respect his achievements and what he has done in the Premier League. I also respect Rafa as he is one of the most successful Spanish managers ever.
"It is important they all know I was very disappointed with the stories that were circulating. It is a very unfortunate situation, but people need to understand what happened."