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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 September 2005, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
'No chip' on Liverpool's shoulder
Wayne Rooney sarcastically applauds referee Kim Nielsen
Wayne Rooney's behaviour has been attacked
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been criticised after he allegedly blamed Wayne Rooney's behaviour on him being from Liverpool.

He is reported to have said Rooney - who has been in trouble over his disciplinary problems - had "a chip on his shoulder" because he is a Scouser.

Liverpool City Council leader Mike Storey said the comment was "disappointing" and "nonsense".

Manchester United was unavailable for comment on Tuesday.

Sir Alex was reported, in Tuesday's Daily Mirror, to have told a supporters' club meeting: "Rooney is from Liverpool and everyone from that city has a chip on their shoulder, so if an injustice is done to him on the pitch, of course he is going to react."

To use Wayne's temperament to suggest that all Scousers have a chip on their shoulder is nonsense
Mike Storey
Liverpool City Council leader

The 19-year-old Man Utd and England star was named Fifa World Young Player of the Year on Monday.

But he was criticised for being sent off after sarcastically applauding a referee's decision during a Champions League game versus Villarreal, in Spain, last week.

His behaviour during England's World Cup qualifying match in Northern Ireland - when he abused captain David Beckham - also sparked controversy.

But Mr Storey said Sir Alex's comments were unnecessary.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex allegedly made the comments at a supporters' meeting

"Sir Alex may have been quoted out of context, but if he did make this remark, it is disappointing," he said.

"Football is an extremely high-pressure sport, and it is only natural that passions run high.

"To use Wayne's temperament to suggest that all Scousers have a chip on their shoulder is nonsense.

"Liverpudlians are famous around the world for their friendliness and humour."

Frank McKenna, Liverpool business representative, said it was Sir Alex - not Liverpudlians - who had a sense of humour failure.

He said: "There's nothing Scousers love more than taking part in a bit of banter with Mancunians.

"People in Liverpool have a sense of humour and can take a few jokes made at our expense."

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