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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?