Arsenal have called on the Football Association to charge Hull City with wasting FA time, and the time of Arsenal FC, its officials, legal staff and players. The call comes at a time when the FA is investigating how to respond to charges made by Hull, and which are now seen never to have had any chance of success of being proven in a hearing. There is also anger in the FA at what is seen as the frivilous nature of the complaints – some of which were dropped before the hearing.
This fallout comes after the FA found that Cesc Fábregas had no case to answer at a regulatory commission hearing, where the two remaining charges of improper conduct were heard. Cesc, told in advance that there was no case to answer, did not even interrupt training to turn up.
The FA document says, “The charges related to Fábregas’s conduct following the FA Cup match between Arsenal and Hull at the Emirates Stadium on 17 March. One charge concerned his conduct after coming on to the pitch following the final whistle. The second charge related to an allegation of spitting.”
A “after coming on the pitch” charge was amended from an initial charge which claimed, insanely, that it was a punishable offence for Cesc to come onto the pitch. The revised charge was accompanied by evidence from Hull that Cesc was inappropriately dressed. It was thrown out on the grounds that there was no clause in the FA rules that could possibly be used to cover that complaint.
Had Cesc been found guilty on the “on pitch after game” charge it would have been open for Arsenal to complain about the way Sir Alex F Word has run onto the pitch on occasion after matches against Arsenal.
The FA took statements from Horton, Brown and the Hull “fitness coach” Sean Rush. Brown was charged with improper conduct over this game, and also had to attend a hearing two days after the Arsenal match where he was found guilty of improper conduct in a previous match.
The FA will investigate how to stop managers making what its staff are now calling (off the record) “frivolous complaints” against the opposition – complaints which “have no basis in terms of our regulations, and no chance of success within the regulatory commission.”
Hull City brought themselves into disrepute when their submission of evidence (a “dossier” as they called it) was delayed after the assistant manager left the country and “could not be contacted” by the club.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
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