Halsey rejects favouritism accusations

The former Premier League referee detailed in his serialised autobiography his dealings with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho but insists that he crossed no lines
Former referee Mark Halsey has hit back at claims that he showed favouritism to senior Premier League managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 52-year-old, who retired from officiating to become a television pundit at the end of last season, revealed in his autobiography that he has friendships off the pitch with the former Manchester United manager and current Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, at one point accepting the Portuguese's offer of a holiday for him and his wife, who suffers from leukaemia.

But Halsey is adamant that he never allowed his relationships to create any bias in his work.

"People need to read the book to get the full story," he told The Independent. "I am not a person who has ever been corrupt or shown favouritism. The rows I have had with managers will show that. People need to know the full story.

"People have been crying out for how many years for the referees, managers and players to come closer. We are all a family.

"You look at rugby, rugby league, cricket, players and coaches have a drink after the game. I have been a referee for 15 years in the Premier League and we all make friends. We are a football family and we need to work together.

"Clubs have two visits a season where the referees go in and train with the players and speak to the managers. What's the difference? What's the difference when they have a day with a club and train with the club?

"If people want to read the book then they should read the full story. The book is all about me and my wife battling back from cancer and being an inspiration to others."