Ferguson admits United cant gag fans

The Manchester United boss has expressed his disappointment at the small number of supporters who sang anti-Liverpool songs at Old Trafford last weekend. Ferguson had already called for a line to be drawn in the bitter feud between United and Liverpool fans in the wake of last week's official verdict into the Hillsborough disaster in 1989.

With United set to visit Merseyside this weekend, Ferguson said: "It is a minority. But in society there is a minority wanting to be heard."

He added: "I didn't hear it (on Saturday), but others did, particularly in the directors' box.

"(Chief executive) David Gill was disappointed. It is going to be a very emotional day on Sunday and we will support them in every way we can.

"As a club we are totally supportive of Liverpool in the situation they are in. We understand what those families must have felt when they got that report."

Ferguson's comments came as a report was being released by MPs stating football's authorities need to do more to tackle racism and discrimination within the game.

One of the triggers for that study was the high-profile issue involving Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra. Last season, Suarez did not shake Evra's hand at Old Trafford. That brings added tension to this weekend's game, with Ferguson insisting a bad 12 months for the game should not be allowed to obscure the positive work that has taken place.

"English football has been very good in challenging these issues," said Ferguson. "Last year was a bad year for the sport but hopefully we get back to normal. I don't know what the report is going to say but until last year I don't think it has been an issue.

"I haven't seen anything for 20 years. One bad year doesn't cast the game in doubt as far as I am concerned. I am sure it will be brushed aside and we will go back to normal."

Source: PA

Source: PA