Wigan boss Roberto Martinez is fuming following quotes attributed to him suggesting the FA are in awe of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Martinez was reported to have claimed the FA were almost "apologising" to the Reds boss for sanctioning him over his comments that referee Alan Wiley was unfit to do his job.
But the Latics boss insists he never made any comments about Ferguson and released a statement on Wednesday through the League Managers' Association which read: "Wigan Athletic manager, Roberto Martinez, has today categorically denied making the comments about Sir Alex Ferguson that have been attributed to him in a number of media reports. Martinez has referred the matter to the League Managers Association."
The quotes attributed to Martinez are understood to have originated in Spanish newspaper AS before being picked up by various English tabloids.
"They (the FA) have just sanctioned Ferguson for saying that referee was not fit enough and the truth is that they're almost apologising to him for punishing him," Martinez was reported to have said.
"Any other coach would have been crushed for that.
"Ferguson has been here for a lifetime and that carries a lot of weight."
Furthermore, the former Swansea boss was quoted as saying that Rafael Benitez is unfairly targeted by some managers: "Ferguson has his group of faithfuls, people who are committed to him: Steve Bruce, who was a player with him, Sam Allardyce, who thinks he will be his successor at Old Trafford, and others.
"On the other side, there's Rafa Benitez and he gets attacked from all sides."