Dermot Gallagher has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson used to intimidate referees and influence their decision making. Gallagher, a former UEFA and Premier League referee, has revealed how referees could not help but listen to Ferguson and that most referees were scared of him. Dermot Gallagher also revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson once asked him to call off a game to benefit his side in the long run.
‘It was chucking it down with rain and Fergie pulled me aside and said “do me a favour, call the game off’,” Gallagher told Sportlobster TV.
“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”.
‘At half time United were losing 3-1 (against Middlesbrough) and the pitch was like a swimming pool. As we came off he said “I know we’re 3-1 down but please call it off, we could do with a hand here”.
‘They managed to pull it back to 3-3 and in the last minute Dennis Irwin ran into the box and went down in front of the Stretford End and I only gave a goal kick.
‘At full-time Fergie sprinted across the pitch and shouted at me furiously. My wife said, “Fergie had a right go at you about that penalty didn’t he”.
‘I told her he hadn’t mentioned the penalty. She asked why he came tearing across the pitch at me then. The truth is he ran over and asked me if I was going out to dinner that night. I said “no” and he asked “why are we leaving so early then?”.’
Dermot Gallagher also revealed a rather strange incident which occurred when a referee was at Old Trafford refereeing.
‘Years and years ago one of the referees had a heart monitor on during a match at Old Trafford,’ he explained.
‘They were assessing it and suddenly it jumped and went through the roof. They looked at the DVD and he’d just turned down a penalty in front of the Stretford End. The pressure is immense.’