Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested Liverpool will be glad they did not ban Luis Suárez themselves before the Football Association's 10-game suspension for the striker, with the Scot claiming the governing body cannot be trusted.
Ferguson pointed to how Eric Cantona was prohibited from playing for nine months by the FA for kicking a Crystal Palace fan in 1995 having allegedly first promised Manchester United that a club ban would suffice.
Speaking before Suárez decided on Friday to accept the 10-match tariff for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, Ferguson said: "I think back to Cantona and I have to say that a nine-month ban doesn't equate to a 10-match, does it? I can understand how Liverpool are aggrieved at it, I must say that. I keep going back to [Cantona] – the FA done us that day, we would never allow that to happen now. I would never have listened to them in the first place saying that if 'you make your punishment we'll be happy'.
"We did that, gave him a four-month ban and then they turned round two or three days [later, and said]: 'Right, we're charging him.' We would never allow that to happen again at this club."
Asked if this was why Liverpool did not choose to levy their own ban on Suárez, Ferguson said: "I'll bet they're glad they didn't. It didn't work with us, that's for sure. David Davies [then the FA's spokesman] promised us that, if we did it, there'd be no more action taken – bloody hell. If you think about it – a nine-month ban, its quite incredible, I still can't get round that."
It is understood that Davies has always maintained that he was in no position to give assurances regarding any FA action over Cantona and that he never communicated directly with Ferguson during the episode.
After winning the club's 20th title on Monday Ferguson believes the club's commercial growth over the past few years puts them in prime position to dominate over the coming seasons. "Having spoken with the Glazer family [the owners] I think there's every intention we want to kick on, yeah," he said. "Absolutely. I hope so. It has been fantastic and that's credit to the commercial people, they've done a great job and of course the football team has been platform for that. But they're capitalising on such a great profile of the club – there's no doubt, worldwide it seems to me to be getting bigger."
United's cut of the new £5.5bn television deal, plus tie-ups with Nike, Aon and Chevrolet means they can expect even greater revenues in the immediate future. "We're happy where we are at the moment that's for sure," Ferguson said. "We've attracted some really good sponsors, interesting and valuable partnerships because all the sponsors we're combining with have got the same philosophies as ourselves in terms of trying to make their product the best in their business – that's what we're trying to do."
Ferguson believes that United may need only two players to strengthen this summer. "I don't think that we need to rebuild at all – possibly two players, if possible. It depends of course.If a player came along that we felt met our criteria, I think we'd push the boat out and get him irrespective of how many players we had," the Scot said.
He praised Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski, who scored all the German club's goals in their 4-1 win over Real Madrid in Wednesday evening's Champions League semi-final first leg. "To score four goals in a game of that nature against Real Madrid is wonderful," said Ferguson of the striker for whom he has previously stated his admiration but who may join Bayern Munich this summer according to reports in Germany..
Ferguson is also happy that Arsenal will form a guard of honour for United when they play against Arsène Wenger's side at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon. Some home fans may vilify the returning Robin van Persie but Ferguson said: "I don't think Robin should be bothered about it. There was a bit of booing when we played [them] at Old Trafford and I think you expect a portion of the fans will do that. That's the modern society I'm afraid. I'm glad that Arsène has done that [guard of honour] because when Arsenal came to Old Trafford some years back we did exactly that and that's what great clubs should do."