Sir Alex Ferguson’s furious reaction to his latest five match ban could see the beetroot-faced Scot condemned to the stands for another five matches, the FA confirmed last night.
Ferguson’s attempts to escape a touchline ban failed when the FA hearing, which was held at a Birmingham hotel, dismissed his suggestion that referee Alan Wiley had ruined his season by blatantly adhering to the rules and awarding a late penalty to rivals Chelsea.
The United boss’s case wasn’t helped by his insistence that the hotel receptionist, Susan Davis, was clearly biased and that his requests for a Full English were ignored by staff, leaving him with no option but to vent his anger at a continental breakfast.
Staff looked on in horror as three slices of toast and an orange were given the hairdryer treatment.
Raising the prospect of a furhter ban, the FA have called Ferguson to account for his remarks against Davis, but Ferguson refused to back down, saying:
“From where she was sitting, fairly low down and behind a large desk, there’s no way she could have had a clear view of things. “
“I had originally hoped for an Ibis – a traditionally impartial hotel with no history of awarding late penalties against us or a second yellow card against Vidic. “
“We needed a fair hotel and a strong hotel but we didn’t get one.”
“I expected more from a Travelodge. “
Ferguson also claimed that he feared the worst on learning that the concierge was none other than Dave Smith, a lifelong fan of rivals Chelsea, and the very same concierge who Sir Alex blamed for his failure to receive an alarm call at a budget weekend break in Aberdeen some thirty five years ago.
“It’s no use trying to blame the receptionist. That guy was supposed to be running the show. As far as I and Manchester United are concerned the buck stops with him.”
And the Scot could face further disciplinary action following comments he made to the club’s in-house propaganda channel MUTV, where he criticised the performance of a trouser press that he blamed for his side’s lacklustre Carling Cup exit to West Ham.
A spokesperson for Travelodge said:
“We understand that Sir Alex’s trousers were left unevenly creased by the device but we strongly dispute his suggestion that it received backhanders. “