Fergie: No bad blood between Manchester United and Liverpool
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson does not believe the fall-out from Luis Suarez's ban for racially abusing Patrice Evra will harm relations with Liverpool.
Suarez is set to appeal against the Football Association's eight-match suspension and £40,000 fine after being found guilty of using insulting words towards United defender Evra at Anfield in October. With Liverpool not set to receive the written reasons for the judgement until the new year, the saga looks set to drag on for several more months.
Both clubs supported their players throughout the investigation, although Ferguson criticised Liverpool last month, accusing them of “drip-feeding” information about the case.
Liverpool have attracted criticism after their players wore Suarez T-shirts in the warm-up before the goalless draw at Wigan on Wednesday.
While Ferguson was again unwilling to talk expansively on the ruling yesterday, he declared himself satisfied with the outcome and maintains that the situation will not worsen the relationship between the two North West clubs, who have one of the most bitter rivalries in English football.
“It's not about Manchester United and Liverpool at all, it's nothing to do with that,” Ferguson said. “This is an individual situation where one person was racially abused.
“It doesn't take a lot to remind everyone that this is the biggest derby game in the country, up until the present anyway. Things may change the more successful Manchester City become.
“We don't need to talk about it. Our support of Patrice was obvious, right from the word go, and that's still the same. The matter is over and I think we're satisfied that they've found the right decision.”
Ferguson also hinted at the unpredictably of FA penalties, citing Evra's four-match ban following an altercation with a member of the Chelsea ground-staff. The French defender faced censure after a fracas at Stamford Bridge in April 2008.
“Patrice got that suspension for the incident down at Chelsea when no-one was there, just a groundsman and our fitness coach,” added Ferguson. “He got a four-match ban and we had to wait two weeks for the evidence to come through. We were quite astounded at that ourselves.”