There was better news for Manchester United ahead of the club's preparation for the Champions League final on 27 May, when UEFA announced that, due to popular request, Rob Styles is to referee the game.
Styles has been handed the match to head off possible conspiracy theories that would almost-certainly arise should United lose to Barcelona in Rome.
Two refereeing disasters during the recent semi-finals have made UEFA nervous about English clubs and their incessant complaints about, what they call, "poor refereeing standards".
UEFA feel that by having Mr Styles officiate the match (he is on the payroll at Old Trafford) Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson would be satisfied. But the Scot still found time to have his customary moan, as he asked:
"Can't that flippen Howard Webb run the line?"