Johannesburg: A former English Premier League referee has reportedly claimed that former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had once tried to get him to postpone a United match in order to give his side a better chance of winning the title.
Ferguson was renowned for trying to exert pressure on referees and could often be seen pointing at his watch, hinting that there should be a long period of stoppage time towards the end of games when United needed a goal, although the Scot wrote in his autobiography that the gesture was intended to create tension for the opposition.
Sir Alex Ferguson.
According to Sport24, however, former referee Dermot Gallagher said that Ferguson asked him to ''do him a favour'' and call off a match at Old Trafford in 1997 with Middlesbrough, which he officiated, as United desperately needed to win during a tense battle with Arsenal for the title.
Gallagher, who refereed in the English top-flight from 1992 to 2007, said that United was losing the game and it was raining hard, adding that Ferguson told him that the Premier League will have to extend the season if the match is called off as there is nowhere else to fit the game in.
Although United managed to pull back the match to a 3-3 draw, Gallagher further said that at full time, Ferguson sprinted across the pitch and shouted at him furiously.