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FA slams Manure over Battle of the Bridge


abramovich

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FA : Man United are full of crap

Manchester United coaches, including Mike Phelan, have been accused of providing inconsistent, unreliable and misleading evidence to the disciplinary commission that investigated the “Battle of the Bridgeâ€, when Patrice Evra clashed with Chelsea groundstaff.

The FA has posted the commission’s full findings on its website in the interests of greater transparency in the disciplinary process, but this break from convention is bound to provoke a furious reaction from Sir Alex Ferguson, particularly when he reads the scathing criticism of his players’ behaviour and the doubts about the credibility of his coaching staff.

Ferguson claimed to have been shocked by the four-match ban given to Evra but the report by the four-man panel, which included David Pleat, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, makes it very clear that the France full back was entirely to blame for provoking the 30-man mêlée.

And even more damagingly for United, the report is strongly critical of the reliability of evidence provided by United, particularly Phelan, the first-team coach, who claimed that Evra was called “a f***ing immigrant†by Sam Bethell, one of the Chelsea groundstaff. Phelan managed to contradict himself — and Richard Hartis, the United goalkeeping coach — in his two statements to the commission.

“The racist remark is placed at significantly different points in time in the two statements,†the report reads. “The inconsistencies in Mr Phelan’s evidence about the sequence of events are not just the normal expected uncertainty about detail. They cast serious doubt on the reliability of their overall evidence.â€

Chelsea were furious that United sources leaked allegations of racism against Bethell, believing that United did so to draw attention from their own bad behaviour. Ferguson and his men were angry at losing the game 2-1, with Rio Ferdinand accidentally knocking into a female steward as he stormed up the Stamford Bridge tunnel. “A number of United players were in a rather wound-up state,†the report found. No United players, not even Evra, testified that they heard the racist remark and Bethell had insisted that he had used the word “idiot†rather than immigrant.

“If Mr Phelan and Mr Hartis are right in their recollection, then it is in the first place surprising that Mr Evra himself did not hear the remark,†the report continues. “It is notable that there were several other people far nearer to Mr Bethell at the critical point in time than were either Mr Phelan or Mr Hartis. Nobody else has come forward with an allegation of any such remark.â€

In terms of the initial provocation, the commission found that the United players “were at least as responsible as Chelsea groundstaff. Gary Neville in particular was behaving in an abusive and provocative manner.â€

United players were warming down by running around the pitch as Chelsea staff attempted to repair the grass. As the argument erupted, Evra “unnecessarily and gratuitously†banged into Jason Griffin, Chelsea’s head groundsman, who was holding a fork. When the defender told Griffin to drop the implement, the groundsman replied: “I’ll shove the f***ing fork up your a***.†The commission found Griffin a “frank, calm and sensible†witness in contrast to Tony Strudwick, the United fitness coach, who is accused of giving a “misleading†impression and being aggressive even as he gave evidence regarding events of April 26.

The report’s criticism explains why, despite Ferguson’s outrage at the four-match ban and £15,000 fine for Evra, the club decided not to appeal. Evra was found guilty of four charges of improper conduct, including striking Bethell on the side of the head, which the player still denies.

The four-man panel was made up of Pleat, Barry Bright, chairman of the FA’s disciplinary committee, Roy Carter, from the West Riding FA, with Nicholas Stewart, QC, as chairman.

Ferguson was not impressed that the FA called it an “independent†commission. “I wouldn’t know what they were thinking if I were sitting at the breakfast table with them,†Ferguson said. He knows now.

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If the FA truly believe what they have printed then the punishment dished out to Man Utd is shameful. If Bethell had been found guilty of making racist remarks then there is every chance he would no longer have a career doing what he does and, as such, a false accusation against him should be treated far more severely than it has been.

I should state that I don't mean the punishment for Evra as it would appear he is not guilty of falsifying evidence. His punishment is probably about right. However it is incredible that the FA will go on record to state that key members of the Man Utd management team have given contradictory evidence in such a high profile case and yet they are not going to be punished personally.

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FA : Man United are full of crap

Manchester United coaches, including Mike Phelan, have been accused of providing inconsistent, unreliable and misleading evidence to the disciplinary commission that investigated the “Battle of the Bridgeâ€, when Patrice Evra clashed with Chelsea groundstaff.

The FA has posted the commission’s full findings on its website in the interests of greater transparency in the disciplinary process, but this break from convention is bound to provoke a furious reaction from Sir Alex Ferguson, particularly when he reads the scathing criticism of his players’ behaviour and the doubts about the credibility of his coaching staff.

Ferguson claimed to have been shocked by the four-match ban given to Evra but the report by the four-man panel, which included David Pleat, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager, makes it very clear that the France full back was entirely to blame for provoking the 30-man mêlée.

And even more damagingly for United, the report is strongly critical of the reliability of evidence provided by United, particularly Phelan, the first-team coach, who claimed that Evra was called “a f***ing immigrant†by Sam Bethell, one of the Chelsea groundstaff. Phelan managed to contradict himself — and Richard Hartis, the United goalkeeping coach — in his two statements to the commission.

“The racist remark is placed at significantly different points in time in the two statements,†the report reads. “The inconsistencies in Mr Phelan’s evidence about the sequence of events are not just the normal expected uncertainty about detail. They cast serious doubt on the reliability of their overall evidence.â€

Chelsea were furious that United sources leaked allegations of racism against Bethell, believing that United did so to draw attention from their own bad behaviour. Ferguson and his men were angry at losing the game 2-1, with Rio Ferdinand accidentally knocking into a female steward as he stormed up the Stamford Bridge tunnel. “A number of United players were in a rather wound-up state,†the report found. No United players, not even Evra, testified that they heard the racist remark and Bethell had insisted that he had used the word “idiot†rather than immigrant.

“If Mr Phelan and Mr Hartis are right in their recollection, then it is in the first place surprising that Mr Evra himself did not hear the remark,†the report continues. “It is notable that there were several other people far nearer to Mr Bethell at the critical point in time than were either Mr Phelan or Mr Hartis. Nobody else has come forward with an allegation of any such remark.â€

In terms of the initial provocation, the commission found that the United players “were at least as responsible as Chelsea groundstaff. Gary Neville in particular was behaving in an abusive and provocative manner.â€

United players were warming down by running around the pitch as Chelsea staff attempted to repair the grass. As the argument erupted, Evra “unnecessarily and gratuitously†banged into Jason Griffin, Chelsea’s head groundsman, who was holding a fork. When the defender told Griffin to drop the implement, the groundsman replied: “I’ll shove the f***ing fork up your a***.†The commission found Griffin a “frank, calm and sensible†witness in contrast to Tony Strudwick, the United fitness coach, who is accused of giving a “misleading†impression and being aggressive even as he gave evidence regarding events of April 26.

The report’s criticism explains why, despite Ferguson’s outrage at the four-match ban and £15,000 fine for Evra, the club decided not to appeal. Evra was found guilty of four charges of improper conduct, including striking Bethell on the side of the head, which the player still denies.

The four-man panel was made up of Pleat, Barry Bright, chairman of the FA’s disciplinary committee, Roy Carter, from the West Riding FA, with Nicholas Stewart, QC, as chairman.

Ferguson was not impressed that the FA called it an “independent†commission. “I wouldn’t know what they were thinking if I were sitting at the breakfast table with them,†Ferguson said. He knows now.

This is an utter disgrace. Manure have been let off lightly, and should have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute and for fabricating libellous allegations against Bethell. The fact they they haven't is just yet more proof of the leniency with which that club gets treated.

Cheers for the link, abramovich. Great, great story.

Amazing that the Ferdinand incident gets glossed over and misreported here. He didn't 'knock into' the steward, he booted her and caused physical harm.

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the groundsman replied: “I’ll shove the f***ing fork up your a***.â€

i now have a new hero. get this bloke on the shedend now. i think we shuold have a whip round for him and get him a nice big christmas pressie. :bow:

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THE FA ARE A COMPLETE DISGRACE

Manu caused a 30 man brawl involving only their players, falsified evidence, made false accusations, and the player gets 1 more game than he woulod have for a straight red-card offence. And Utd get a 15k fine - £15K FFS - they should have had points deducted last season aswell, like they did for the melee against Arsenal a few years ago.

Complete whitewash!

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THE FA ARE A COMPLETE DISGRACE

Manu caused a 30 man brawl involving only their players, falsified evidence, made false accusations, and the player gets 1 more game than he woulod have for a straight red-card offence. And Utd get a 15k fine - £15K FFS - they should have had points deducted last season aswell, like they did for the melee against Arsenal a few years ago.

Complete whitewash!

the fine would have been more, but the FA are only have a small xmas party this year

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the fine would have been more, but the FA are only have a small xmas party this year

the fa didnt need too much from manure as they have taken plenty of us the last 2 years. we were their own little piggy bank, the w**kers.

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the fa didnt need too much from manure as they have taken plenty of us the last 2 years. we were their own little piggy bank, the w**kers.

Oh and they fined us £25k aswell - still not sure why, our groundsman was assaulted and we still get fined, work that one out.

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I love the way that Fergie never sees anything wrong in the dealings of any of his players or staff, then wonders why no one takes his word as reliable.

Idiot!

Just like after tapping up damn near every player he's ever signed, the old coot wondered why he got no sympathy when Real Madrid tapped up Ronaldo.

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This is an utter disgrace. Manure have been let off lightly, and should have been charged with bringing the game into disrepute and for fabricating libellous allegations against Bethell. The fact they they haven't is just yet more proof of the leniency with which that club gets treated.

Cheers for the link, abramovich. Great, great story.

Amazing that the Ferdinand incident gets glossed over and misreported here. He didn't 'knock into' the steward, he booted her and caused physical harm.

you can also add Hargreaves breaking doors and stuff in the away dressing room. Aswell as their players running to the ref throughout the entire game, c**tS That club gets away with EVERYTHING

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At last someone in the media calls it as it is

MOB LAW UNDERMINES ALEX FERGUSON

BRAWL OR NOTHING - Alex Ferguson cannot moralise after this on-pitch punch-up at Stamford Bridge

United manager cannot claim the moral high ground for his players

20/12/2008

“DO you think I would get into a contract with that mob? Jesus Christ! I wouldn’t sell them a virus.â€

Mob? Well, Sir Alex Ferguson would know one when he sees one.

Such as the mob featuring Gary Neville that picked a fight with Chelsea groundsmen while Rio Ferdinand accidentally kicked a female steward.

Such as the mob that then trooped down to Soho Square to give evidence the independent commission found to be inconsistent, unreliable and misleading.

Such as the mob that is now bleating about the FA’s disciplinary process. With Neville as its spokesman.

“I gave up years ago trying to be a voice,†he said.

TWO OF A KIND - Fergie (right) and Gary Neville both know how to rant

What a crying shame that this claim — in keeping, it appears, with much of the United testimony — is patently untrue.

And you will no doubt be distraught to hear the man who tried to lead an England players’ strike in support of drugs offender Ferdinand has also given up ‘trying to bring reason to certain things.’

Still, Neville has a go, claiming that clubs and players need to be tried by professional people and that the inquiry into events at Stamford Bridge on April 26 was ‘more like a criminal case than a football disciplinary hearing’.

It was more like a criminal case because the accused behaved more like criminals.

That’s why one of the four-man inquiry happened to be a top lawyer. Is that professional enough?

And for the record, David Pleat, presumably one of these professional people that Neville so respects, sat on the commission that released that damning report.

Neville sarcastically referred to the commission as ‘kind’ for labelling him “abusive and provocative.â€

I’d have thought they were just stating the blindingly obvious. But it’s hardly any surprise to see Neville implicated in this way. After all, the most dutiful of lap-dogs always come to resemble their master.

And a chap by the name of Tony Strudwick is clearly one such faithful breed.

Strudwick is the United fitness coach who, according to Stamford Bridge head groundsman Jason Griffin, responded to a request to stop warming down in one of the penalty areas by declaring: “We can do what we f***ing like and go where we f***ing like.â€

Translate it into Latin and it might become a club motto. You can see it embroidered on Fergie and Neville’s blazers. Sir Alex might have had another pop at Real Madrid this week but he actually should be grateful to them.

Because the latest Ronaldo furore has buried the brutal condemnation of United’s evidence to the inquiry into an incident which, don’t forget, featured allegations of a racist comment by a member of another club’s staff.

While Chelsea are far from from blameless, the United contingent come across as a group of men who believe they can behave with arrogance because they are wearing club tracksuits.

They believe they can behave like a mob. This column has long since registered its admiration for the dedication, determination and magnificent footballing achievements of Neville and Ferguson.

Old Trafford is a monument to those achievements.

But when they start trying to preach about morality and fairness, it becomes the biggest glass house in football.

News of the World

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At last someone in the media calls it as it is

MOB LAW UNDERMINES ALEX FERGUSON

BRAWL OR NOTHING - Alex Ferguson cannot moralise after this on-pitch punch-up at Stamford Bridge

United manager cannot claim the moral high ground for his players

20/12/2008

“DO you think I would get into a contract with that mob? Jesus Christ! I wouldn’t sell them a virus.â€

Mob? Well, Sir Alex Ferguson would know one when he sees one.

Such as the mob featuring Gary Neville that picked a fight with Chelsea groundsmen while Rio Ferdinand accidentally kicked a female steward.

Such as the mob that then trooped down to Soho Square to give evidence the independent commission found to be inconsistent, unreliable and misleading.

Such as the mob that is now bleating about the FA’s disciplinary process. With Neville as its spokesman.

“I gave up years ago trying to be a voice,†he said.

TWO OF A KIND - Fergie (right) and Gary Neville both know how to rant

What a crying shame that this claim — in keeping, it appears, with much of the United testimony — is patently untrue.

And you will no doubt be distraught to hear the man who tried to lead an England players’ strike in support of drugs offender Ferdinand has also given up ‘trying to bring reason to certain things.’

Still, Neville has a go, claiming that clubs and players need to be tried by professional people and that the inquiry into events at Stamford Bridge on April 26 was ‘more like a criminal case than a football disciplinary hearing’.

It was more like a criminal case because the accused behaved more like criminals.

That’s why one of the four-man inquiry happened to be a top lawyer. Is that professional enough?

And for the record, David Pleat, presumably one of these professional people that Neville so respects, sat on the commission that released that damning report.

Neville sarcastically referred to the commission as ‘kind’ for labelling him “abusive and provocative.â€

I’d have thought they were just stating the blindingly obvious. But it’s hardly any surprise to see Neville implicated in this way. After all, the most dutiful of lap-dogs always come to resemble their master.

And a chap by the name of Tony Strudwick is clearly one such faithful breed.

Strudwick is the United fitness coach who, according to Stamford Bridge head groundsman Jason Griffin, responded to a request to stop warming down in one of the penalty areas by declaring: “We can do what we f***ing like and go where we f***ing like.â€

Translate it into Latin and it might become a club motto. You can see it embroidered on Fergie and Neville’s blazers. Sir Alex might have had another pop at Real Madrid this week but he actually should be grateful to them.

Because the latest Ronaldo furore has buried the brutal condemnation of United’s evidence to the inquiry into an incident which, don’t forget, featured allegations of a racist comment by a member of another club’s staff.

While Chelsea are far from from blameless, the United contingent come across as a group of men who believe they can behave with arrogance because they are wearing club tracksuits.

They believe they can behave like a mob. This column has long since registered its admiration for the dedication, determination and magnificent footballing achievements of Neville and Ferguson.

Old Trafford is a monument to those achievements.

But when they start trying to preach about morality and fairness, it becomes the biggest glass house in football.

News of the World

Well done, Lawrenson. Glad you've had the guts to write that, but don't expect to be welcome at OT ever again.

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Evar has a whinge:

Patrice Evra has accused the FA of handing out an unfair punishment for his involvement in last season's Chelsea brawl - because he plays for Manchester United.

The FA hold the French defender responsible for what was dubbed 'the Battle of Stamford Bridge' and so have given him a four-match ban and £15,000 fine, as well as publishing a report on their website.

An angry Evra said: 'The ban is ridiculous. It is not fair. Honestly, it is very difficult for me to accept. All I can say is that this has happened to me because I play for Manchester United.'

Quite right. It's because you play for a club whose motto could be, as Lawrenson pointed out, “We can do what we f***ing like and go where we f***ing like.†As your fitness coach so charmingly and politely told our head groundsman even though you and your teammmates were in breach of FA rules. It's because of this arrogant attitude that you lost it and assaulted our groundsmen, and are now aghast that the tissue of lies your club concocted to try and get you out of trouble was not believed and has been publicly exposed as a disgrace. Maybe if you played for a different club you wouldn't have behaved like that.

So maybe you're right. Your club is the reason you've just been banned.

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Evar has a whinge:

Quite right. It's because you play for a club whose motto could be, as Lawrenson pointed out, “We can do what we f***ing like and go where we f***ing like.†As your fitness coach so charmingly and politely told our head groundsman even though you and your teammmates were in breach of FA rules. It's because of this arrogant attitude that you lost it and assaulted our groundsmen, and are now aghast that the tissue of lies your club concocted to try and get you out of trouble was not believed and has been publicly exposed as a disgrace. Maybe if you played for a different club you wouldn't have behaved like that.

So maybe you're right. Your club is the reason you've just been banned.

The most important bit IMO

Can you imagine what the reaction would have been had it been the other way round, the club would have sacked the groundsmen, he would have a criminal record, might well have been locked up. Yet because evra is proffessional footballer and playes for man utd he gets away with a fine that to him is small change and gets a 4 game ban and yet the c**t still thinks he's hard done by.

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