Ferguson and United blank media


Soccer:Manchester United continued to blank the media following their 3-1 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

The result dealt a blow to the Old Trafford club's bid for a record-breaking 19th title although they still remain three points clear of Arsenal at the top of the Premier League having played a game more.

Dirk Kuyt's first Liverpool hat-trick sealed victory for United's arch rivals while Javier Hernandez's late header was a mere consolation.

Red Devils manager Alex Ferguson had cancelled his pre-match briefing on Friday in protest at the coverage given to his post-match quotes at Chelsea on Tuesday that have landed him with an improper conduct charge, plus the furore that surrounded Wayne Rooney's elbowing of Wigan's James McCarthy last weekend.

In a pre-planned move, United also refused to give interviews to the media on Sunday.

Ferguson did not speak to host broadcaster Sky Sports, either before or after his side's third Premier League defeat of the season.

His assistant Mike Phelan did not carry out his usual post-match engagements with the BBC, arranged due to Ferguson's long-standing feud with the organisation.

Radio rights holders talkSPORT were also left without any comment from the visitors.

Should any of these organisations complain to the Premier League, the governing body will be forced to act, escalating the problem between Ferguson and the BBC, with the fines for his non-compliance still waiting to be made public.

For the first time, even United's own television channel, MUTV, left a senior game without any reaction, which is an embarrassing situation in itself.

It is not yet known whether the media blackout will continue this week, ahead of United's FA Cup quarter-final with Arsenal, although discussions are bound to take place behind the scenes.

The only comments came via a club spokesman, who confirmed Nani will be assessed on Monday before the extent is known, and Rio Ferdinand, who was not even at Anfield, but offered an opinion via Twitter.

"Bad result today no excuses," stated the England skipper.