United defender hits back at Whelan

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ENGLAND captain Rio Ferdinand has hit back at Dave Whelan’s claims that Manchester United receive preferential treatment from the FA.

The comments are the latest in the war of words that has followed Wigan’s 4-0 loss to United, when Wayne Rooney somehow escaped sanction for elbowing James McCarthy in the face.

Whelan had suggested the FA were ‘intimidated’ by United following their refusal to charge Rooney for the offence, which brought about only a free- kick from referee Mark Clattenburg.

Ferdinand, though, says that’s not true – and cited his own experience from last term, when he saw a three-game ban for a clash with Hull’s Craig Fagan extended to four for a ‘frivolous’ appeal.

“The referee and FA have made their decision... it’s gone now, you can’t change it so let’s all move on now,” Ferdinand tweeted.

“The FA ‘bottle’ it with Man Utd is all I keep hearing and reading.... well you never said they ‘bottled’ it when I got a four-game ban last season.”

Whelan had earlier claimed the FA’s non-action ‘sends out a terrible message’.

He added: “Something is wrong when a top international like Rooney is seen doing something like this, as clear as day, and is allowed to get away without being punished.

“If it was any other club or player, you can bet your life he would have been sent off. But officials seem intimidated by the words ‘Rooney’ and ‘United’.

“United are allowed to get away with things the rest of us get pulled up for. You can’t have one rule for one club and another for the rest.”