Alex Ferguson slams police officer over Wayne Rooney comments

Sir Alex Ferguson has accused Superintendent Mark Payne of "needing to be noticed" after his pointed comments about Wayne Rooney yesterday.

Payne, responsible for managing responses to crime and operations in Wolverhampton, claimed he would have expected his officers to have arrested Rooney had the Manchester United striker replicated his four-letter outburst at Upton Park on Saturday in a public place.

The suggestion brought a withering response from Ferguson.

"Everyone has an opinion today," he said.

"There is an issue in the modern world of a need to be noticed.

"There is a wee guy, sitting down there in the Midlands, probably never been recognised in his life, managed to elevate himself to whatever it is in the police force.

"Have you ever seen Wolverhampton on a Saturday night? Do police ever arrest anyone for swearing on a Saturday night? Dearie me. That is a good one."

Payne said on his blog on policing: "If Rooney had behaved like that in Wolverhampton on Saturday night, I would have expected my officers to lock him up.

"People in positions of influence have an obligation to behave like human beings. It is not a lot to ask."

Mr Payne went on: "I have seen a thousand Rooneys, and I am sure most police officers will have.

"The same aggressive stance, the bulging eyes, the foul-mouthed rant, fists clenched, surrounded by his mates, all cheering him on.

"I have seen this on Friday and Saturday nights, as young men (and more often young ladies) engage in a 'good night out'.

"My officers will face more Rooneys over the weekend, no doubt somebody will be injured in some meaningless fight. An officer will have to go and tell a parent that their son or daughter is in hospital as a result."

In their immediate reactions yesterday to Rooney's two-match suspension being confirmed by the Football Association, both United and the player made their displeasure known.

Rooney clearly believes he is a victim of double standards.

And Ferguson feels the whole incident has put massive pressure on referee Lee Mason.

"I don't know if you can use the word fair any longer," said Ferguson, recalling that his use of the word at Chelsea last month landed him with a five-game touchline ban.

"We put an appeal in. The lad has apologised for swearing but I don't think we expected to get a result.

"It will bring us together. It is a plus for us.

"But the one I feel sorry for is Lee Mason. He has put himself in a terrible position.

"He has been put under pressure. There is no doubt about that.

"It is hard to imagine the referee would send a player off for scoring a hat-trick.

"But he has now put himself in the spotlight. If he doesn't send a player off for swearing the question will be, has he got double standards.

"It is a very difficult position the lad is in. I feel for him. I really do. I don't know where his career is going to go now.

"I think he was put under pressure."

Meanwhile, Ferguson confirmed young defender Rafael will miss tomorrow's Premier League encounter with Fulham at Old Trafford after suffering a knee injury in the Champions League win at Chelsea on Wednesay.

However, the 20-year-old is expected to be fit for Tuesday's second leg.

The good news for United is that John O'Shea and Wes Brown have both recovered from hamstring problems and both are available to face the Cottagers.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable