Sir Alex Ferguson has denied a Football Association charge of misconduct and demanded a personal hearing to explain his criticism of an assistant referee at Tottenham Hotspur on 20 January. No date has been set for the Manchester United manager's appearance.

After the 1-1 draw the Scot was critical of Simon Beck, complaining that he had failed to award United a penalty for a Steven Caulker challenge on Wayne Rooney, saying: "It was a clear decision. And he was 10, maybe 12 yards away from the incident and he doesn't give it. And yet he gave everything else."

He also claimed that United had "history" with Beck following his failure to rule a Didier Drogba goal for Chelsea offside three years ago during the title run-in. "There was no way we were going to get a decision from [Beck]," Ferguson added.

At the hearing his argument is likely to be that he was offering an opinion on the official rather than questioning his integrity, which is not allowed.

If found guilty Ferguson may face a lengthy touchline ban and heavy fine. In March 2011 he received a five-game ban and had to pay £30,000 when found guilty of questioning the integrity of the referee Martin Atkinson after a match against Chelsea.

An FA statement said: "Sir Alex Ferguson has denied an FA charge of misconduct in relation to post-match media comments made following Manchester United's game at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 20 January 2013. It is alleged the Manchester United manager breached FA Rule E3 in that he implied that the match official was motivated by bias.

"Ferguson has requested a paper [personal] hearing, the date of which will be set in due course."