Phil Neville: Man Utd were 'favoured' by referees under Alex Ferguson

Former Manchester United defender Phil Neville has admitted that the club received ‘better decisions by the referees’ during his playing career. 

United often appeared to receive preferential treatment from officials during the glory days under Sir Alex Ferguson, much to the annoyance of rival clubs and fans.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg even admitted that Ferguson’s intimidating aura meant United were awarded favourable decisions.

When speaking on Jurgen Klopp’s outburst over refereeing decisions last year, Clattenburg said, via the Daily Star: “But he [Klopp] is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.”

And Clattenburg isn’t the only former referee to speak out about Fergie’s influence, ex-Premier League official Dermot Gallagher also admitted that Ferguson even asked him to call a game off to give United a better chance of winning. 

Gallagher said, via the Express: “It was chucking it down with rain and Fergie pulled me aside and said ‘do me a favour, call the game off’.
“I asked why and he said ‘there’s nowhere else to fit this game in and the Premier League will have to extend the season. We’ll have a better chance of winning the match and we’ll win the league at Old Trafford’.”

Even Sir Alex himself has admitted in the past, via GOAL, that he would put pressure on referees. 

“The fourth official on Sunday [against Swansea] showed be the board and it said eight minutes. I said, ‘Think again’.
“That’s been a part of it – the pressure you try and put on referees. But I saved mind games for opponents.”

And now a video posted to Twitter has gone viral after Phil Neville became the latest person to admit to the favouritism United received. 

In the clip, Neville admits: “I’d say over my time in these games, I think we got the better decisions by the referees.
“And I think it was a big bugbear of the Arsenal players and Arsene Wenger, the way that probably referees tended to favour us. 
“We were experienced, we knew how to play the referees, we knew the words to say to them, we knew the right time to put pressure on them. 
“It’s something that they [Arsenal] were learning but we were probably the masters at it.”

Check out the full video of Neville’s statement here

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If you weren’t aware why so many rival fans are passionately anti-United, these quotes may give you some idea. 

Whilst the official’s favouritism for the Red Devils seems to have dropped dramatically since the retirement of Ferguson, it’s still a sore point for many fans who had to grow up watching it. 

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