Papers: Sir Alex's defence
Sir Alex hopes to avoid five-match ban
Sir Alex Ferguson is pinning his hopes on precedent to avoid an FA touchline ban for his verbal attack on referee Alan Wiley. The Manchester United boss was yesterday charged with improper conduct by the FA for claiming Wiley was "unfit" to referee and has 14 days to respond to the charge. Fergie, who is being advised on the matter by former FA compliance officer Graham Bean, is hoping he can swerve a touchline ban by citing past cases in his defence. No manager has ever been hit with a touchline ban for post-match remarks, the context in which Fergie attacked Wiley following United's 2-2 draw with Sunderland a fortnight ago. Fergie's defence team will argue that as the alleged offence occurred away from the technical area, the United boss should not face a touchline ban.David McDonnell, Daily Mirror
The Daily Telegraph
says the United boss will request a personal hearing before the 3 November deadline to respond to the FA's improper conduct charge.The Guardian
says Liverpool have sold out of the £10 "Beach Set", which includes the red beach ball that aided Darren Bent's goal for Sunderland on Saturday. Stewards will also be searching United fans at the turnstiles for beach balls before Sunday's Premier League clash at Anfield, they claim.