Sir Alex Ferguson has accused the Football Association of failing to acknowledge Manchester United's status within the English game and treating the Old Trafford club "like s***"
The immediate byproduct of Ferguson's decision to place his faith in the younger members of his squad is likely to be a healthy contingent being named in Fabio Capello's England squad for next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales.
Including Michael Carrick, whose selection is not guaranteed since he is yet to start for his club in the Premier League, and Rio Ferdinand, out since tweaking a hamstring in the opening-day win at West Brom, Capello could name eight United players in his 23-man squad when it is unveiled on Sunday evening.
The statistic is a source of pride to Ferguson. Less so, the United manager believes, to the people he is helping out.
Ferguson's relations with the FA have at times been only marginally less strained than those with the BBC, whose representatives he admitted to his pre-match briefing this morning for the first time in seven years.
A chequered disciplinary record, coupled with the treatment meted out to his players - David Beckham and Gary Neville immediately spring to mind - have tended to put Ferguson on the defensive in his dealings with the FA.
But last season he had a particularly fraught time.
Forced to serve a five-match touchline ban for calling the impartiality of referee Martin Atkinson into question following a controversial defeat at Chelsea in March, Ferguson was aghast at a misconduct charge being brought against Wayne Rooney the following month when he swore into a TV camera at West Ham.
The subsequent two-match ban cost United Rooney's services in their FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City at Wembley.
In an official resume of the season published during the summer, Red Devils chief executive David Gill claimed United get singled out for treatment by the FA.
Now Ferguson has gone one step further.
"They (the FA) treat us like s***," he said.
"We are pleased for the players because they deserve to be there. They are outstanding.
"The FA may one day realise who has produced more players for their country than any other club in the world.
"Maybe they will get some joy from it at some point in their lives and realise how important we are to England."
It was the kind of bombshell only Ferguson is capable of delivering with such force and immediately triggered thoughts that he could be landing himself in even more trouble.
However, the FA's reaction was remarkably relaxed and it seems highly unlikely the United boss will face any action.Reuse content