Sir Alex Ferguson has hit back at Gerry Sutcliffe's controversial outburst over Manchester United's season-ticket prices - and jokingly suggested the Red Devils-supporting sports minister might be better off going to watch rebel club FC United.
At a sports summit in London on Thursday, Sutcliffe condemned United for ticket price rises of 13% this season, and also the widely-criticised 'automatic cup scheme' which forces season-ticket holders to buy tickets for cup games whether they want to attend or not.
"It is unfair and inaccurate," said the Scot.
"He works in London, I am sure he knows where Chelsea and Arsenal play, so he must know about their ticket prices. They are almost double ours, so I do not understand why he is picking on Manchester United."
When it was pointed out Sutcliffe was a United fan and might have been using the Old Trafford club as an example because he had already singled out Chelsea and John Terry, Ferguson laughed: "He is a United fan is he?
"He will not be coming back again. He can go and watch that mob United FC." However, even on the subject of player wages, Ferguson was not entirely happy.
"You have to put these things into perspective," he said.
"There are some tennis players and golfers earning enormous amounts of money. Is that wrong?
"People tend to think that because they are individuals they deserve it. "But football is the national game. Without question, it is the biggest sport in the world.
"It is very easy to say footballers get paid too much. In some cases, I would not argue with that.
"However, there are also some tennis players who get great sponsorship deals but never win a tournament."