Clattenburg says Man Utd aura got them favourable calls under Sir Alex Ferguson

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has admitted Manchester United’s “aura” under Sir Alex Ferguson earned them favourable decisions on the pitch.

Ferguson was the master of the mind games during his legendary stint at Old Trafford, using several of his pre-match press conferences and interviews to get one up on his closest rivals.

Yet it was not only opposition managers who felt the heat, as Clattenburg says top-flight referees were also influenced by the Scot.

The 45-year-old, who spent 13 years working as a Premier League official, accepts that Fergie’s intimidating aura meant United received a number of favourable decisions.

Discussing Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’s similar attempt to put pressure on officials, Clattenburg said in his column for the Daily Mail: “[Klopp] is clearly getting edgy, though, because not since Fergie have we seen such a blatant attempt to influence a referee ahead of a big game.

“Klopp wasn't doing this last season when Liverpool were winning every week.

“He does not like losing, he never has. He gets prickly. But he is wrong to suggest there is an aura around United that sees them given favourable decisions. There used to be when Fergie was there, but that has eased massively since he left.

“I am the only referee to give three penalties to the opposition at Old Trafford, and that was for Liverpool, of all teams, in 2014.

“But David Moyes was manager — I'm not sure that would have happened when Fergie was there!”

Klopp recently pointed out that United have received more penalties in two years than his Liverpool side have in five-and-a-half years, which Clattenburg believes was a clear mind-game attempt ahead of their crucial meeting on Sunday.

The referee added: “Klopp was correct when he said United have won more penalties in two years than Liverpool have in his five and a half at Anfield. He was smart, because his comments could not get him into trouble with the authorities.

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“But let's be clear: there is no conspiracy on the part of referees and officials. Was Klopp insinuating there is? Or was he suggesting United have players who are encouraged to dive?

“If his intention was the former, then I've got no time for that. It simply is not true.”

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