Fergie denies claims of influencing referees after ex-official bared 'closeness' with manager

Johannesburg, Sept 20 (ANI): Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has hit back at claims that he intentionally influenced officials after ex-referee Mark Halsey claimed that he used to text the manager.

According to Sport24, Halsey, who refereed in the Premier League for 14 years before retiring at the end of last season, caused controversy this week when the newspaper serialisation of his new book 'Added Time' gave details of his friendship with Ferguson.

In the serialisation, Halsey confessed to sending a text message to Ferguson asking him to speak out on behalf of Mark Clattenburg when the referee was under investigation for having allegedly made a racist remark to Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, the report said.

The former official, who spent a year out of the game in 2009 while he battled throat cancer, also admitted Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho paid for a holiday in the Algarve for him and his wife Michelle, who has myeloid leukaemia, the report added.

However, Ferguson denied any wrongdoing and said the extent of his relationship with Halsey had been to support him during his cancer fight, the report further said.

He said that his former club had given the referee lots of jerseys for the dinners he was having and a signed strip from all the players. (ANI)

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