Wiley Could Sue Fergie

Football - Portsmouth v Sunderland Barclays Premier League

Yesterday Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was handed a four-match touchline ban (two of which are suspended) and a £20,000 fine after remarks he made about referee Alan Wiley.

It is being reported today that there is still a chance that Wiley could sue Sir Alex for defamation. Last month Wiley refereed the 2-2 draw between Man United and Sunderland, after the game Sir Alex said that he ‘just wasn’t fit enough’ to referee the game.

Alan Leighton, national secretary for referees' union Prospect, said: "One of the things we are saying is, is there a case these comments are defamatory? I intend to talk to Alan Wiley to see if he wants to sue on the issue."

"We need to take a few steps back and see what has happened here and I would like to see more about the judgement. We never wanted to get lawyers involved in but if referees don't feel they are being protected by the regulatory bodies and someone says something defamatory sooner or later someone is going to take action over it."

"We are going to talk to the relevant authorities to see what it means for the future. I'll also talk to our members. I think there will be a concern this isn't an appropriate way to send a message that these comments were wholly unacceptable.''

Leighton also added that they are disappointed with what has happened and he believes that there should have been a larger punishment.

Leighton also said: "From our point of view it is disappointing, the FA had a chance to make a point and they flunked it. To question the fitness of a referee is to question his ability to do the job and his integrity."

Sir Alex said what he did after a game, emotions were still high and he has to go and do interviews. Managers will say things that people don’t like, it happens. Sir Alex shouldn’t have said that and he has apologised. As far as I am concerned, that should be the end of it.

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