Furious United manager will contest 'flimsy' ref charge

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An incandescent Sir Alex Ferguson will contest his latest FA disciplinary charge that resulted from him describing Howard Webb as "the best referee" to officiate last Sunday's match with Chelsea.

The Manchester United manager is said to be furious, although the FA warned all Premier League managers they would breach rule E3 and be charged with improper conduct if they comment on officials before a game.

Two days before Webb took charge of United's 2-1 win, Ferguson said: "We are getting the best referee, there is no doubt about that but [getting a bad decision] is definitely our big fear." Both Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti, and Arsenal's Arsène Wenger, said they were surprised by the charge. Because they believe the evidence is so flimsy, United will not employ former FA officer, Graham Bean, who defended Ferguson when he was fined £30,000 and banned from the touchline for comments made about referee Martin Atkinson.