Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's row with the local press is escalating. The Daily Mail says it has reached the nadir this season of a number of reporters being banned for writing United injury stories that were wholly correct.

Fergie even accused one respected writer of costing the club three points at Everton in the opening match of the season because the opposition knew in advance that Rio Ferdinand would not be playing.

The Football Writers' Association have been asked to intervene on behalf of some of their members and are in the process of writing to Manchester United to try to resolve a worsening situation.