Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lashed out at Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho in the escalating war of words between the two clubs.
With both clubs in contention for the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League, tensions have become evident, with Mourinho recently suggesting that United were getting special treatment over penalties this season.
“Jose seems to be on some sort of a personal crusade about regulations, honesty and suspicion in the game,” Ferguson told a news conference on Friday.
“I think the FA and Premier League have let him off lightly because what he is saying is that our game is suspicious and I think that’s wrong. I am surprised at that because it will go on and on and on.
“He’s accused Barcelona in the past, he accused the Swedish referee (Andreas Frisk), he put the German referee under massive pressure the other night, insulted Liverpool – a club with a great history – and suggested their players were going to hunt down (Didier) Drogba.
“He’s going on and on. It’s a rant every time now and that’s disappointing.”
Mourinho had further stoked the flames by suggesting that United winger Cristiano Ronaldo had lied by denying that there was a consipracy against Chelsea.
Ferguson added: “Everyone’s got an opinion. Ronaldo’s got an opinion, Carlos Queiroz has got an opinion but that doesn’t mean to say they are liars.”
Noting that United have conceded three penalties at Old Trafford this season, compared to none by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Ferguson said: “So Alan Wiley, who gave a penalty against us a few weeks ago against Bolton, is the referee tomorrow (in United’s game at Everton). What kind of pressure does it put him under?
“If we get a penalty kick against us in the next four games he wins. Mourinho wins that war and I think that’s wrong. I don’t think it’s strain, it’s all calculated.
“There are bad decisions and good decisions. We all get them. No-one is exempt from them. You just have to get on with it.”
Both clubs have complained about the hectic schedule imposed created by their success domestically and in Europe.
United’s request to have their derby clash at Manchester City next Saturday put back a day following their midweek trip to Milan in the Champions League was rejected, but Ferguson said he was not complaininig about the situation.
“Is that fair? We don’t think it’s fair,” Ferguson said. “But we are not going to start accusations of suspicion in the premier league that Chelsea and the premier league have got it carved up.
“We just have to accept it and we will be going to Manchester City to do our very best because it’s important to this club to do it the right way and we will do it the right way.
“There will be no complaints from us. We made our case to the premier league and it was refused and we will get on with it.”