One of the long-standing criticisms of english referee Howard Webb was that he always showed favoritism towards Manchester United. Jokes like “Fergie time” and Webb being subject to meme’s with him wearing a Manchester United kit. All of this for a referee that both the English Premier League and FIFA saw as one of the tops at his profession.
A man can only take so much of it, and on Tuesday Webb hit out against those critics and fans who believe we was biased in favor of the Red Devils. Webb spoke to The Daily Mail in the U.K., and steadfastly denied ever showing favoritism to Manchester United.
“There’s no element of truth in it,’ Webb said. ‘It’s not something that affected me or played on my mind at all. It wasn’t hurtful. Much of it is tongue-in-cheek, of course.”
However, it doesn’t mean Webb hasn’t looked back at his career and seen mistakes made. Webb admitted as much to the press following his retirement last week.
“What does play on my mind is when I’ve made a mistake, particularly an influential one that has affected the outcome of a game. I’d be dishonest if I said it didn’t bother me.”
He also appeared to take most of the criticism of him as not-that-serious in the long run. Instead, he chose to see it as a silly exercise by frustrated fans. However, Webb takes his (and other referees’) integrity very serious.
“If our integrity is questioned by people in a serious way, that’s a different matter. The level of integrity we have as a group is really high.”