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Prem Forecaster: The relegation race

Premier League
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Big Sam: I've been fined for telling truth

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce says the FA has fined him for "speaking the truth" after he criticised the referee's failure to award his side a penalty in an FA Cup replay defeat at Old Trafford.

Allardyce was ordered to pay £8,000 for his criticism of Phil Dowd after West Ham had lost 1-0 on January 16 and had a strong penalty appeal for handball rejected.

Speaking after the match, the manager said: "You see it time and time again at Old Trafford.

"There's no doubt about the difference between Rafael's handball and Jordan Spence's. Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford."

But he rejected claims that amounted to an accusation that Dowd was biased, saying he had meant that officials were influenced by big crowds at big stadia.

After the fine had been imposed, Allardyce said: "For me, I spoke the truth – so, if you like, I have been fined for speaking the truth. But there you go - we move on.

"What I had to do was present my case and give it to the panel and make sure they understood what I meant.

"There was no doubt I meant nothing other than the influence that happens at the big arenas that happens to everyone when you go there.

"Those influences can make people make decisions that are right or wrong, not just Phil Dowd but players and you as a manager."

Allardyce said he believed he "should have got the benefit of the doubt, based on the fact I didn't say anyone was biased".

"I tried to choose my words carefully and never mentioned that word whatsoever," he added.

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