Mark Hughes: Manchester United don’t receive preferential treatment

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes believes it's natural that talking points will occur when the big clubs play at home

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles at Harlington
mark hughes
Mark Hughes won two Premier League titles with Manchester United The Sport Review

mark hughes

Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes has dismissed claims that the likes of Manchester United get favourable treatment by officials in the Premier League.

Manchester City executive Patrick Vieira sparked controversy this week when he told the BBC that the Red Devils get an advantage when they play teams at Old Trafford.

But Hughes, who enjoyed two spells at United, believes it is normal that the league’s so-called bigger clubs get more decisions at home – because of large spells of possession in the opposition’s half.

“I think when you go to Old Trafford the vast majority of play will be in the opposition’s half, so there are more situations that warrant debate and key decisions that have to be made correctly,” said Hughes.

“So by the law of averages, there’s going to be more of these situations at the big grounds like Old Trafford, Anfield and The Emirates.

“They are all difficult grounds to go to as an opposition manager or player. You know that there’s going to be situations in those games just by virtue of the fact that most play is in our half.

“So it’s up to the referee and officials to get those decisions right. It’s difficult – the pace the game is played at these days [makes] it a hard job.”

Hughes played under Sir Alex Ferguson for seven years, winning two Premier League titles and the FA Cup twice before leaving Old Trafford in 1995.

And the 48-year-old candidly admitted that as a Red Devils player, he felt the referees were ungenerous in their decisions towards the Old Trafford outfit.

“When I was a player I thought we didn’t get anything of the referees to be honest,” added Hughes.

“I held that view for quite some time. Maybe I’ve tempered that view since I’ve become a manager.

“I thought all the referees were against us and they never used to give us enough time either.”

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