FA considers Ferguson's Arsenal 'deal' allegations

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The Independent Football

The Football Association will review Sir Alex Ferguson's explanation as to why he suspected that Arsenal had "done a deal" over their punishment for the Old Trafford bust-up.

Ferguson and United both supplied explanations to the FA yesterday about the comments suggesting that Arsenal agreed a deal before the disciplinary hearing which left the club and five of their players facing collective fines of £275,000 and bans totalling nine matches.

Adrian Bevington, the FA's head of media relations, said: "I can confirm that both Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson have responded to the FA's request for an explanation to the alleged comments with regard to the FA's disciplinary procedure. We will now give full consideration to the correspondence."

Ferguson had said: "I think it was a suspicion right through the country that they had done a deal. They had charges dropped - they are very fortunate that they have that position within the game. We at Manchester United just hope we can win titles without any help."

The FA, meanwhile, is expected to plead with Fifa, the game's world governing body, to be allowed to wait until next season before implementing new rules on suspensions. Currently any players sent off do not start a ban for 14 days and an appeal can be heard on most grounds.

Fifa has issued an edict which limits the grounds of appeal to cases of mistaken identity and ensures an automatic one-match ban comes into force for the very next game. Bevington added: "We want to work with Fifa and always intend to implement any regulations. We had said we would like to make any changes at the end of the season. Further to Sepp Blatter's comments yesterday we will give consideration to the matter and decide what is available to us at this stage of the season."

If Fifa refuses to allow any flexibility then the FA accepts it will have no option but to introduce the rules immediately.

Peter Kenyon is expected to lose his place on two key Uefa committees as a result of his decision to quit United and become Chelsea's chief executive. Kenyon, still on "gardening leave", is expected to be replaced as vice-chairman of Uefa's European Club Forum when the directors meet on 20 November, and could also lose his place on the European ruling body's club competitions committee. As Manchester United's chief executive, Kenyon was appointed as the forum's senior vice-chairman.

Theoretically there is nothing to stop Kenyon continuing in the roles. But a representative of United was chosen on the basis of the club being the English side with the highest Uefa ranking - and so it is likely that David Gill, his successor at Old Trafford, will be invited to take on his roles. Gill has already replaced Kenyon as vice-chairman of G14, the group of Europe's 18 elite clubs.

United have confirmed that they will return to the United States for three pre-season games next summer as part of the ChampionsWorld series.

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