What’s the difference between a Manchester United and a Crystal Palace manager?

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The answer is that the Red Devils manager has been forced to pay diddly squat to the FA after his verbal volley in the direction of referee Martin Atkinson, a decision that has angered the usually unflappable (!) Neil Warnock.

The Daily Mail report that the Palace manager is positively seething after hearing that Sir Alex Ferguson and assistant Carlos Queiroz have escaped without being fined after getting their knickers in a twist during United’s 1-0 defeat at home to Portsmouth in the FA Cup. Warnock clearly doesn’t understand the double standards adhered to by this fine footballing body, otherwise he would comprehend it perfectly.

“Are you winding me up?” asked Warnock. “This sounds like the type of thing that is about to ruin my summer holiday!

“All I wondered was how much Fergie would be fined. I was just thinking to myself that whatever it was it probably wouldn’t make much of a dent in his wages!

“But I really cannot believe this. I find it quite unbelievable that he has been found not guilty when you look at what he said and the context of what he said.

“In an age when we are supposed to be encouraging respect towards officials, I find it amazing that I was fined £2,000 for what I said and Fergie has not been punished at all.”

I think we should have sympathy with SAF on this one. How Atkinson had the audacity to let Pompey win this tie was frankly unbelievable and he should never be allowed to officiate again on any football match. Doesn’t he realise that he prevented the Red Devils from winning a glorious treble, something that will have to live with him for the rest of his life.

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