Ex-Premier League referee pranked Sir Alex Ferguson in row over famous ‘Fergie Time’

January 7, 2023

During his heyday as Man Utd manager, Sir Alex Ferguson’s behavior on the touchline was as terrifying as his teams on the field, with even referees wilting under pressure.

Former Premier League referee Phil Dowd once pranked Sir Alex Ferguson over his famous ‘Fergie time’ requests.

The legendary Man Utd manager was a master at bending referees to his will with a mere scowl in their direction. Ferguson, over time, became known for pointing at his watch and demanding additional minutes as his side sought late victories, which invariably led to last minute goals for the Red Devils.

And now Dowd, who officiated over 300 top flight matches before blowing his final whistle, has revealed a feisty encounter with the Scotsman during a match between United and Wigan Athletic..

When asked who was the toughest manager to get on with on Fore Four 2, Dowd said: “It has got to be Ferguson in his time. He should have been a psychologist because he could always get in your head.

“I remember being at Man United once as a fourth official and I think it was Michael Oliver as the referee. They were playing Wigan and I put a minute up [on the board].

“I was standing at the top of the tunnel and I could see Fergie having a rant at Michael, saying ‘we’ve only played a minute’, because they were drawing and he wanted more time to try and get a goal.”

He continued: “Second-half they were winning quite comfortably, so I thought this is pay-back time. He sent his assistant to ask me how long. I only had two minutes on the card but I said ‘five minutes, that will make his day’.