Fergie salute cleared by FA

I like Sir Alex Ferguson. He is a cantankerous old man who always speaks his mind and often riles opponents up to his own advantage.

I also like him because he is Scottish, because he is successful and because he likes football to be played with flair, passion and pace.

But all that aside, I cannot believe he is going to get away scot-free following his “alleged” gestures to Reading fans during Manchester United’s 2-0 win at the weekend. I have seen some cringeworthy celebrations from Fergie at the side of the pitch – most of them akin to a drunken Grandad dancing at a wedding – but the one against Reading was absolutely blatant.

The “get it up ye” gesture is a particularly offensive one and I see no way that it could be mistaken as a celebration of relief at winning a tough game. A clenched fist, yes, but when coupled with the “get it up ye” salute – not once but twice – there can be no doubt exactly what message he was trying to convey to the Reading fans.

A recent personal example of the offensiveness of the “get it up ye” brand of celebration came following a 2-1 victory for Leith Athletic over Waterside in a cup quarter final. After the victory, their sidelines claimed they heard the shout of “get it up ye” from our mild-mannered goalkeeper Iain Gordon.

A 20-man brawl ensued with one crazed supporter/club official picking up a metal stake used to hold the advertising hoardings and chasing a number of players with it.

Iain later claimed he shouted “get in there”, a perfectly reasonable shout following a hard-fought game. However, this example does highlight the unsportsmanlike feeling the “get it up ye” brand of celebration triggers among losing sides – even if they only think they heard it.

On this occasion I think Fergie let himself and his team down with that particular celebration and should have been reprimanded by the FA. However, i’m sure it won’t be long before he is back to his more traditional mind-games and off-the-cuff quips.

When do they play Newcastle again?

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