Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson criticises Kenny Dalglish over Luis Suarez affair

Ferguson is critical of Dalglish in his new book. Photo: PA

Former Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has accused Kenny Dalglish of 'burying his hand in the sand' over the Luis Suarez - Patrice Evra saga, an episode he thinks cost his compatriot the Liverpool job.

Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined £40,000 for racially abusing Manchester United defender Evra during the 1-1 draw between the two sides on October 15 2011.

Ferguson, in his autobiography which is released on Thursday, reveals how he told Evra to report the Suarez abuse to the match officials.

Liverpool players, and then manager Dalglish, leapt to Suarez's defence following the punishment and even wore t-shirts supporting the striker in the warm-up before their game against Wigan.

The following summer Dalglish was sacked, and Ferguson believes his support of Suarez was a big factor in his dismissal.

Ferguson branded the t-shirt stunt "ridiculous".

"Nobody at Liverpool seemed willing to pull Kenny's horns in," Ferguson adds.

"I felt Kenny was falling back on the old chip on his shoulder. As a manager your head can go in to the sand a bit, especially with a great player."

Ferguson questions whether Dalglish, with whom he has gone through many battles during his career, would have done the same had a reserve team player been at the centre of the issue.

There is also deep criticism of the Scot's decision to pay £20million for Stewart Downing.

Two other Liverpool managers are criticised in Ferguson's book.

Graeme Souness is described as "a good guy but impetuous".

Ferguson also lambasts Rafael Benitez for his infamous "facts" press conference.

The Spaniard reeled off a number of claims regarding Ferguson and his supposed ability to manipulate referees when the two teams were going head to head for the 2008-09 title.

The Scot thinks Benitez came across as "a silly man" and a "control freak".

"The mistake he made was to turn our rivalry personal," Ferguson said.