Greater Manchester Police have complained to both Manchester United and the Football Association over the delirious reaction of Gary Neville to Rio Ferdinand's 90th-minute winner against Liverpool on Sunday, a celebration his England colleague Jamie Carragher believes "crossed the line" of the rivalry between Old Trafford and Anfield.
The FA is awaiting referee Mike Riley's match report before deciding what action, if any, to take against the United full-back for sprinting the length of the pitch to celebrate wildly in front of the travelling supporters, but the local constabulary has shown its displeasure.
"Chief Superintendent Andy Holt has written a letter expressing his concern," confirmed Greater Manchester Police last night. "No criminal investigation is taking place at this stage."
English football's governing body has increased its attempts to banish excessive celebrations this season and could punish Neville with a booking. Liverpool defender Carragher, who yesterday received the freedom of his home borough of Sefton for his charity work and European Cup endeavours, said: "I think there is a line and Neville crossed it. I've heard people say it's justified because he gets stick from the Liverpool fans, but the truth is he gets the stick because he's been doing that for years. That's why it all started."
United's chief executive, David Gill, believes the club will attract a shirt sponsorship deal that eclipses the world record £15m-a-year that Libyan oil company Tamoil currently pays to Juventus despite their early exit from the Champions' League and a £12.3m drop in annual profits.
Gill has been in discussion with several blue-chip companies, believed to include electronic company Sony and Etihad Airways, the UAE-based airline, since Vodafone announced it would end its £9m-a-year sponsorship deal at the end of this season.
"We are having detailed negotiations with a number of companies in different sectors and what we can say at the moment is that we are very positive about the outcome of those," he revealed.Reuse content