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Gill complains of unfair treatment

Manchester United chief executive David Gill believes the club has been unduly punished by the Football Association as a result of their success.

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United were at the centre of controversy on a number of occasions last season, with Wayne Rooney picking up a two-match ban for swearing at a TV camera as he celebrated a goal in the 4-2 victory against West Ham.

Sir Alex Ferguson was also given a five-match ban for his comments about referee Martin Atkinson in his post-match interview after the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in March, and he was given a warning for praising Howard Webb's abilities as a referee.

In the previous season, Rio Ferdinand was given an extended ban after denying a violent conduct charge and, although Rooney controversially escaped a similar charge in February after his apparent elbow on Wigan's James McCarthy, Gill believes the club is being treated unfairly.

"I do genuinely believe there have been some poorish decisions that, in my opinion, wouldn't necessarily have hit other clubs," he said in new book Champ19ns. "That's not to say I'm condoning Wayne's comments, because I don't think they were correct, or what Sir Alex said [about Atkinson] because it wasn't helpful.

"At the same time, the actual punishments were harsh. We're possibly being caught up in being one of the biggest clubs and the 'Respect' agenda being there. What better way to demonstrate the authorities are being tough than by hitting one of the biggest clubs the hardest?"

Meanwhile, Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino has taken a swipe at United for convincing Italy Under-17 goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini to leave the Tuscan outfit for Old Trafford.

Gollini had revealed he had accepted an offer to join United's academy and Corvino says even more of his youngsters were targeted by clubs in England but selected to remain with the Viola.

A statement on the club's official website read: ''Fiorentina sporting director Pantaleo Corvino has taken into consideration the comments made by player Pierluigi Gollini and is surprised by his decision.

''He takes the opportunity to thank players (Niccolo) Fazzi, (Saverio) Madrigali, (Leonardo) Capezzi, (Federico) Bernardeschi and (Luca) Lezzerini, who have decided to remain with the Viola club, not being lured by false illusions of English sirens in recent days.

''Of the 150 players that have decided to go abroad, no-one has been able to earn a place in the first team.''


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