In his post match interivew after game Ferguson said:
“I feared the worst [when seeing Atkinson had been chosen as referee]”
“You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway – and we didn’t get that.”
Ferguson was fuming with Atkinson after the Bradford born referee awarded a controversial penalty to Chelsea and failed to give David luiz a second yellow card for a blatant foul on Wayne Rooney.
Such was Fergie’s fury that following the defeat to Liverpool a few days later, the United manager refused to speak to press at all, including United’s very own MUTV.
Ferguson already had a two match ban hanging over him for claiming referee Alan Wiley was “unfit” after the 2-2 draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford last season. So the FA have imposed that along with another 3 match ban.
The five match touchline ban means Fergie will be watching from the stands for the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley as well as Premier League clashes with Bolton, West Ham, Fulham and Everton.
Although the ban is hardly ideal for such a series of important games, with Mickey Phelan the man repsonsible for doing most of the sideline shouting, it shouldn’t have too much of an impact.