Wigan boss Roberto Martinez believes Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson exerts too much power in English football.
The Spaniard feels that the Football Association is overawed by the Old Trafford boss.
And he claims that Ferguson has other Premier League managers to back him up in his battles with Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, thus giving him an unfair advantage over his Anfield rival.
Ferguson has admitted an FA charge of improper conduct following his comments over the fitness of referee Alan Wiley after the draw with Sunderland earlier this month.
The Scot, who also questioned the performance of Andre Marriner following their weekend defeat by Liverpool, faces a personal hearing for his comments regarding Wiley.
But Martinez believes other managers would have been treated less leniently than Ferguson.
“They (the FA) have just sanctioned Ferguson for saying that referee was not fit enough and the truth is that they’re almost apologising to him for punishing him,” Martinez told Spanish newspaper AS.
“Any other coach would have been crushed for that.
“Ferguson has been here for a lifetime and that carries a lot of weight.”
Martinez’s comments echo those of fellow Spaniard and Liverpool manager Benitez, who the Latics boss believes has been treated harshly by his several Premier League managers.
“Ferguson 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,” Martinez said.
“On the other side there’s Rafa Benitez and he gets attacked from all sides.”