Megson says Ferguson was 'hung out to dry' over Wiley

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The Bolton manager, Gary Megson, believes Sir Alex Ferguson has been "hung out to dry" over his controversial attack on referee Alan Wiley.

Ferguson has until 10am tomorrow morning to offer the Football Association an insight into his comments, which followed Manchester United's 2-2 draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford earlier this month.

The Manchester United manager was fuming with Wiley's handling of the match and made a series of statements about Wiley's fitness, including a belief that he took longer than necessary to book players because he "needed a rest".

The United manager has already offered a public apology and has stated he never meant to personalise what he feels is a valid topic for debate. That was not enough for referees' chief Alan Leighton, who has called for a Uefa-style touchline ban which would prevent Ferguson having any contact with his team during a match.

For Megson, this is just another example of someone grabbing cheap publicity at Ferguson's expense.

"Fergie couldn't have done any more," the Bolton manager said. "He gets hung out to dry because of who he is. He has apologised and then everyone criticised the apology. I have seen Alan Leighton quoted as saying it is half-hearted. But you are damned if you don't apologise and damned if you do. What is he supposed to do? He has said something and then, having had time to think about it, he has said 'sorry'. End of story – move on."