An emergency meeting of the Premier League Disciplinary Executive late last night, after a direct request and appearance from Patrick Vieira and Jeff Winter, has decreed that the final league matches of the season involving Manchester United and Manchester City will trial two Assistant Referees behind the goals, as seen in Europa League matches. This will be introduced for Manchester United's fixture at Blackburn. The referees have been directed to check with each when giving a penalty, especially in fixtures involving United after recent controversy.
A Premier League spokesperson said: "It's important after Patrick Vieira's recent compliant, that we are seen to be doing something and can not be accused of bias - and we are doing something. Please note however that all decisions by the assistant referee are only advisory to the referee; assistants do not actually make binding decisions."
"Of course it has been noted in the newspapers this morning that we should be taking action against Mr Vieira himself, but out of respect for the integrity of the PL season - which we want to go right to the wire for our worldwide audience - it is important the PL brand adopts as many proposals made during the maelstrom of any hysteria to promote our brand. We are delighted to announce Ronald McDonalds as official shirt sponsors of the 'title finale Assistant Referees'. We hope they will add to the excitement of this title race and our brand."
It is understood however that Manchester City have asked for David Elleray and Mr Winter to be the Assistant Referees for the Blackburn vs MUFC game, and that was accepted, despite a late Manchester United complaint, because the PL felt it best maintained the integrity of their values, and "the excitement of their brand across the world."