Wigan boss Roberto Martinez has accused football authorities in England of being overawed by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson will face the Football Association at a personal hearing after admitting to a charge of improper conduct for his "unfit" comment relating to referee Alan Wiley earlier this month - but Martinez believes other managers would have been hit with more decisive action than the Scot has so far.
"They (the FA) have just sanctioned Ferguson for saying that referee was not fit enough and the truth is that they're almost apologising to him for punishing him," Martinez told Spanish newspaper AS. "Any other coach would have been crushed for that."
He added: "Ferguson has been here for a lifetime and that carries a lot of weight."
Martinez's comments echo those of fellow Spaniard and Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who the Latics boss believes is unfairly targeted by some managers.
"Ferguson has his group of faithfuls, people who are committed to him: Steve Bruce, who was a player with him, Sam Allardyce, who thinks he will be his successor at Old Trafford, and others," Martinez said.
"On the other side there's Rafa Benitez and he gets attacked from all sides."
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