Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has launched a tirade against Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson.
Benitez claims that Ferguson is “the only manager who will not be punished” for verbally attacking referees.
“But I have seen some facts. On 1st November, they played Hull and Mr Ferguson had a two-match touchline ban and a £10,000 fine after confronting Mike Dean, the referee, for improper conduct.
“We started the Respect campaign, and that was when (Javier) Mascherano was sent off (last season) at Old Trafford.
“The referee (Steve Bennett) was the referee when they played against Wigan – he could not see the handball against Wigan by Rio Ferdinand, he did not give a penalty. They won the game and they won the title in this game.
“I think it will be the same referee who will be in charge of their game in hand this season (against Wigan).
“During the Respect campaign – and this is a fact – Mr Ferguson was charged by the FA for improper conduct after comments made about Martin Atkinson and Keith Hackett.
“He was not punished. He is the only manager in the league that cannot be punished for these things.”
Benitez also feels that Ferguson’s suggestion that Liverpool will struggle to handle the pressure at the top of the table is merely the latest example of the Scot’s psychological mind games.
“I was surprised but I have to talk about facts,” added Benitez. “I think that is important. I think they (United) are nervous because we are at the top of the table.
“I want to be clear. I don’t want to play mind games too early and I think that they want to start.”
And the Spaniard has also been annoyed by Ferguson’s complaints about the Premier League fixture list.
“Then he was talking about the fixtures,” continued the former Valencia chief. “Two years ago we were playing a lot of early kick-offs away on Saturdays when United were playing on Sundays. And we didn’t say anything.
“Now he is complaining about everything, that everybody is against United. But the second half of the season will see them playing at home against all the teams at the top of the table, it is a fantastic advantage.
“But at Christmas, United played on the 29th and the rest of the teams played on the 28th. We were away against Newcastle two days after playing Bolton. They were playing about 40 hours later, they were not complaining then.
“If he wants to talk about fixtures, and have a level playing field as you say in England. There are two options if we don’t want more problems with fixtures.
“One is the same as in Spain, the draw for the first part of the league is known, everyone knows which weekend. In the second-half everyone plays the opposite, so you all know.
“Sky have the right to choose their games and it will be the same for everyone. So Mr Ferguson will not be complaining about fixtures and a campaign against United.
“Or there is another option. That Mr Ferguson organises the fixtures in his office and sends it to us and everyone will know and cannot complain. That is simple.”