Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Ronaldo Plots Manchester United Exit

And the tricky winger is blaming English Premier League football and the referees. I know, that sounds absurd, but it's true. Or maybe it's a smoke-screen from the Old Trafford boardroom to help soften the blow when he leaves for Spain in the summer.

Manchester United fear Cristiano Ronaldo could be driven out of England by weak refereeing in the Barclays Premier League.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson and members of the Old Trafford hierarchy had been increasingly confident of keeping the world's best player beyond the end of this season.

But what Ferguson describes as a lack of protection for his player is becoming a major concern for the English and European champions, particularly after Ronaldo clashed with referee Phil Dowd at Craven Cottage in Fulham's surprise 2-0 victory on Saturday.

The relationship between Ronaldo and leading referees appears to have disintegrated and, while United accept that the Portugal winger is partly to blame, they argue his apparent disrespect for match officials is his response to their failure to protect him.

Ferguson says the 'systematic fouling' of Ronaldo has become a popular 'tactic' in the Premier League and statistics do prove that he is fouled more than any other United player.

Now there is a real worry that the opportunity to make a summer move to Real Madrid in Spain, where referees are less tolerant of challenges, is becoming a more attractive proposition to the FIFA World Player of the Year.

Yesterday Dowd and his colleagues came under fire from Pat Crerand, a United legend long seen as a strong Ferguson ally.

In an extraordinary attack, 1968 European Cup winner Crerand slammed the current crop of senior English referees in response to the late dismissal of striker Wayne Rooney during United's defeat at the weekend.

Rooney was sent off after a second yellow card when he angrily threw the ball back towards the referee. Paul Scholes was also sent off earlier in the match for handling on the line.

'We have a situation in England at the moment where we have the worst referees God ever created,' said 70-year-old Crerand, who is employed by United's official television channel MUTV as a presenter.

'The Scholes sending- off decision, you couldn't argue with that.

'But the Rooney dismissal was a farce. United are losing, he wants to get on with the game, he picks the ball up and hurls it about 40 yards straight to team-mate Jonny Evans.

'I know the referee's in that vicinity but it landed straight at Evans's feet. And the referee sent him off.

'I think referees want to do something to be noticed and get their photo in the papers. The sending-off of Rooney got him noticed. They talk about respect in the game but referees have got to earn it.'

Rooney will not face any further disciplinary action, the FA have confirmed after Dowd stated he was not sworn at by the player. This means Rooney will be suspended for only one game, the home match against Aston Villa on April 5.

The FA will write to Rooney, however, to issue him with a formal warning about his conduct after he punched the corner flag while leaving the pitch. An FA spokesman said: 'We have clarified with Phil Dowd that there was no abuse from the player after he was dismissed.
'In relation to the incident when he punched the corner flag, the referee did not see that and we have written to Wayne Rooney reminding him of his responsibilities.'


Anonymous said...

complete rubbish, he isn't going anywhere

Craig - The Real Footie Analyst said...

rubbish then? so why did Fergie cut his holiday short before the start of the season to fly to Portugal to speak to the diver or 'diva' and beg him not to leave. i can find you millions of news stories if you missed them (typical manc supporter). I'm afraid it's the same old story...and he might just leave if they win nothing.