5 most controversial Sir Alex Ferguson incidents at Man Utd you forgot all about

Manchester United icon Sir Alex Ferguson remains one of the most celebrated managers in the history of football following his retirement back in 2013 – and he wasn't shy of a feud or two.

The legendary Scot, who is celebrating his 80th birthday on Friday, would often call out individuals if he felt their actions to have been unfair – and other times just react with his actions.

Ferguson won 13 Premier League titles as well as nine domestic cups during his 27 years at Old Trafford, a period in which United were twice crowned Champions League winners.

On his birthday, Daily Star Sport has taken a look at five of his more unrecognised feuds, two of which involved referees and one with a rival manager.

Gordon Strachan

Ferguson and fellow Scot Gordon Strachan were involved in a lengthy feud that stretched from the former Celtic boss' time as both a player and a manager.

The discontent began in the summer of 1984, a time during which Strachan had been a key player under Ferguson at Aberdeen, and is said to have entered talks to join Koln without telling his manager.

Ferguson said in his autobiography: "There was a cunning streak in Strachan, I had never imagined that he could pull such a stroke on me."

Strachan instead joined United, who would appoint Ferguson in 1986, which led to Strachan joining Leeds and firing them to the title.

Strachan said he had "surprised and disappointed" by the words of his former manager in his own autobiography, but the pair seemed to make up when managing against each other in 2006.

Alan Wiley

Back in November of 2009, Ferguson was handed a four-match touchline ban (with two games suspended) and handed a fine of £20,000 for his comments regarding Alan Wiley.

The experienced boss had questioned the fitness of the referee following United's 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

FA regulatory commission chairman, Peter Griffiths QC, had said: "Each member of the commission recognised Sir Alex Ferguson's achievements and stature within the game. Having said that, it was made clear to Sir Alex that with such stature comes increased responsibilities.

"The commission considered his admitted remarks, in the context in which they were made, were not just improper but were grossly improper and wholly inappropriate. He should never have said what he did say."

Howard Webb

Although many bitter fans accused former Premier League referee Howard Webb of giving more decisions to United during his career, Ferguson had a differing theory.

The Athletic reported how Ferguson said to Webb in the tunnel during a clash against Liverpool: "I saw you. I saw you singing, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. F****** says it all, that."

Fergie was referring to Webb’s antics at a Referees’ Association dinner in Solihull a few years earlier. He had been filmed doing a boozy rendition of the song by Gerry And The Pacemakers that doubled as Liverpool’s anthem.

Having asked the manager to come to his dressing room at half-time, Ferguson said with a wink: "Anyway, I know you’re a Rotherham fan."

Is Sir Alex the greatest manager in history? Tell us in the comments section

Preston loanees

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Sir Alex made Preston pay for sacking son Darren Ferguson back in 2010 by recalling three loan players before their new managerial system could be put in place.

Darren had been a player at Old Trafford until 1994, becoming a manager in 2007 following spells with Wolves, Sparta Rotterdam, Wrexham and Peterborough.

Ritchie De Laet, Joshua King and Matty James all returned to Old Trafford following the dismissal of their boss, but Ferguson insisted it was the choice of the players.

Following that move, Stoke boss Tony Pulis recalled two players from Preston, and they were relegated at the end of the season.

Champions League draw

Back in 2003, Ferguson was fined by UEFA for claiming that the quarter-final Champions League draw was fixed to favour Spanish clubs.

He said: "Real Madrid – they have a nice draw, they must have picked it themselves.

"The Spanish or Italian teams don't play each other, how do you think they work that out? They don't want us in the final, that's for sure, but I'm not listening."

He was fined £4,600, with UEFA communications director Mike Lee saying: "UEFA control and disciplinary body decided to impose a 10,000 Swiss Franc fine on Sir Alex Ferguson for improper conduct to the media."

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