Opposition fans have always felt that referees didn’t do them any favours at Old Trafford, so you can understand the controversy surrounding the revelations that Sir Alex Ferguson used to text referee Hark Halsey.
The details are revealed in Halsey’s new book in which the ref admits texting Fergie, including to get his support for Mark Clattenburg during the John Obi Mikel racism row.
Halsey wrote: “I took matters in my own hands and rang Sir Alex asking him to speak out.
“He agreed and used his Friday press conference to say he could not conceive of Mark [Clattenburg] saying such things. It helped the situation a great deal.”
Halsey added: “It took time to gain Sir Alex Ferguson’s respect but in the end we had a very good relationship.”
He continued: “One thing should be made clear about my relationship with Sir Alex.
“I may have spoken to him a lot and shared texts but he knew when I crossed that white line there were no favours.
“Players and managers would not respect you if you gave decisions based on friendship.”
But the professional body for referees, the Professional Game and Match Officials Ltd, has spoken out to clarify that no match official should be in contact with a manager or player.
A spokesman said: “At the beginning of the season all our referees were reminded of the importance of adhering to the PGMOL protocols.
“This covers a number of issues, including making direct contact with managers and players, which for integrity reasons is prohibited.
“Any new publicity will only heighten awareness of adhering to these important PGMOL guidelines.”
However, the video above suggests that Halsey wasn’t necessarily biased towards United. Look at his face as Wolves concede a late equaliser against Fergie’s team.