Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a stinging attack on Alan Pardew after the Newcastle United manager criticised him for haranguing referee Mike Dean.
In a press conference this morning, Ferguson described Pardew as a manager of a “wee club in the north east”, claimed he "shoves" referees and "makes a joke of it," and that the Newcastle boss would be wise to remember the help he has been given in the past.
In United's 4-3 victory over Newcastle on Boxing Day, Ferguson was incensed when referee Dean overruled assistant Jake Collin and awarded Newcastle's second goal.
Ferguson approached Dean as he made his way out for the second half, before rounding on the fourth official Neil Swarbrick and Collin.
Despite widespread astonishment at Ferguson's actions, the Football Association announced yesterday that the United manager would not be punished because Dean had not included the altercation in his match report.
In the aftermath of the match, Pardew said Dean will have been "slightly disappointed" he did not take action against Ferguson at the time.
Ferguson appears to have taken exception to the comment from the Newcastle boss.
"I was demonstrative but I was not out of order," he said today.
"The press have had a field day. The only person they have not spoken to is Barack Obama because he is busy,
"It is unfortunate but I am the manager of the most famous club in the world. Not Newcastle, a wee club in the north east.
"I was demonstrative. I am always demonstrative. Everyone knows that. I am an emotional guy. But I was not abusive.
"I shouted Mike over. We walked towards each other. I was only on (the pitch) three or four yards. That has been overplayed.
"The problem for me is that the profile of this club is huge.
"Alan Pardew has come out and criticised me. He is the worst at haranguing referees. He shoves them and makes a joke of it. How he can criticise me is unbelievable. He forgets the help I gave him, by the way."
Pardew was given a two-match touchline ban and fined £20,000 after accepting an FA charge of improper conduct for pushing an assistant referee earlier this season.
He was sent off during the 2-1 win over Tottenham on August 18 at St James' Park when he pushed Peter Kirkup after claiming the ball had gone out of play during a Spurs attack.
Despite the Manchester United manager's protestations that he was "not out of order", Arsene Wenger said today that Ferguson should be treated like everybody else and deserved to be punished.
"Should you behave like that? No," said Wenger, who was sent to the stands by Dean for kicking a water bottle in 2009.
"I did not always behave like I should and you can call that a bad example, yes.
"The message it sends out when you look at the pictures is just not to behave like that.
"We go sometimes overboard on the touchline and when we do it we have to be punished, it is as simple as that.
"(If) it is me or Ferguson or anybody else in the world, the rules are the rules. It is not rules for one person and the rules for another person, it is the same for everybody."