Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have been told to end their feud by the Metropolitan Police.

Manchester United are due to play at Arsenal on 1 February and Barry Norman, the commander of the Islington borough, has appealed for calm ahead of the high profile fixture.

“Any activity in the build-up to the game which increases the intensity and hostility of the supporters should be stopped,” said Norman.

And Norman, the person responsible for match-day security at Highbury, told the Evening Standard: “If there is intense rivalry between the two sets of fans, which there is, then anything which increases that is unhelpful.

“The difference with the United game is simply that the intense playing rivalry can permeate into the crowd.

“People can easily become more agitated and aggressive towards supporters of the other team.”

Both Arsenal and United rejected a plan by Football Association chairman Geoff Thompson to organise a summit between the two clubs.

The League Managers’ Association has also called for an end to the row.

Earlier this week, Wenger called for Ferguson to be put on a disrepute charge following remarks he made in a weekend interview.

Ferguson said Wenger’s conduct in the wake of United’s 2-0 win over Arsenal in October had been “a disgrace”.

Wenger responded: “Ferguson’s out of order. He has lost all sense of reality.”

“He is going out looking for a confrontation, then asking the person he is confronting to apologise.

“He’s pushed the cork in a bit far this time and lost a lot of credibility by saying what he said.”

Wenger’s latest comments come after he initially refused to respond to Ferguson’s remarks, saying only: “I will never answer any questions any more about this man.”

Ferguson told The Independent: “In the tunnel Wenger was criticising my players, calling them cheats, so I told him to leave them alone and behave himself.

“He ran at me with hands raised saying ‘what do you want to do about it?’

“To not apologise for the behaviour of the players to another manager is unthinkable. It’s a disgrace, but I don’t expect Wenger to ever apologise, he’s that type of person.”