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Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"Who's had the most penalty kicks in England at the moment?"
 real 56k

Lucas Radebe
"Barthez should have been off"
 real 56k

Leeds' Nigel Martyn
"Sometimes you just have to accept the ref's decision"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 19:39 GMT
Row between rivals rumbles on
David O'Leary and Sir Alex Ferguson
O'Leary and Ferguson in a more cordial moment
Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson has been further riled as recriminations from United's match with Leeds United continue to rumble on.

Ferguson, who had accused Ian Harte of diving, is now angered by accusations that referees show leniency towards his team.

"The idea that we are controlling referees has no foundation," Ferguson declared.

Maybe it's a case of one rule for United and one rule for everyone else
  Lucas Radebe
The Scot insisted that statistics for sendings off and penalty kicks would prove his point and he also praised the discipline of his players.

"Our discipline is fantastic and that is something we have to point out from time to time," he said.

David O'Leary met Ferguson's accusations against Harte with a staunch defence of his international defender.

The Irishman was at the centre of a row when he was brought down for a penalty during the 1-1 draw between the two clubs on Saturday.

Leeds thought Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez should have been sent off for appearing to stamp on Harte and Ferguson responded by branding the defender "a diver".

"We all know Harte has had players sent off this season and last season," said Ferguson.

Who am I to compete with the great man as I'm still only young and learning my trade
  David O'Leary
"He made a meal of that incident on Saturday. That player has a record of diving."

His comments infuriated O'Leary who responded with his own tirade.

"First of all, I only like speaking about my own players and I would rather stick to that," he said.

"But regarding Ian Harte, maybe the great man's memory is going at 59.

"He did say Barthez should have been sent off on Saturday, I don't know, maybe he has had a bad weekend.

"This smells of some sort of smokescreen, although I couldn't tell you what the smokescreen is.

"But who am I to compete with the great man, as I'm still only young and learning my trade," O'Leary concluded.

Leeds captain Lucas Radebe sparked the war of words by accusing referees of leniency towards reigning Premiership champions.

Referee Graham Barber and Fabien Barthez
Barthez protests his innocence to referee Barber
Referee Graham Barber incensed Radebe by refusing to dismiss Barthez after awarding the penalty.

Barthez added insult to Leeds United's injury by saving Harte's spot-kick.

And then Leeds felt they were denied victory when Barber ruled out Wes Brown's late own goal after his assistant flagged for a debatable offside decision.

Ferguson claimed "there was nothing in the incident" that led to the penalty but Radebe was less diplomatic after the match.

"Maybe it is a case of one rule for United and one rule for everyone else," he said.

"Officials might be a little bit intimidated by them because of what they have achieved.

"They have built up a reputation they are bigger than referees, and officials find that hard to deal with."

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