• Premier League

Newcastle: FA disciplinary rules 'not fit for purpose'

ESPN staff
March 19, 2013
Shaka Hislop believes a change in rules is needed

Newcastle United managing director Derek Llambias has declared FA disciplinary procedures "not fit for purpose", after the body chose not to charge Wigan player Callum McManaman for his horror tackle on Magpies defender Massadio Haidara.

In response to the FA's statement that 'retrospective action' is only applicable to incidents not seen by match officials during the game, Llambias released a statement on the club's official website.

"It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose," Llambias said.

"We are disappointed to learn that the FA is not going to charge the Wigan player. We were first notified of this decision by a national media outlet who received notification from the FA confirming the decision. This was prior to anyone from the FA having the courtesy to contact the club to let us know.

"Whilst we understand that the current procedures give the FA limited options, it cannot be correct that the most serious offences - those which have the potential to cause another player serious harm - can go unpunished, even if the original incident was seen by match officials.

"We will now be making a strong representation to the FA and the Premier League to see how a more appropriate, fair and even-handed disciplinary process can be introduced at the earliest opportunity to prevent incidents of this nature going unpunished in the future."

As a result of McManaman's challenge, Haidara was stretchered off in the first half of Sunday's match at the DW Stadium, and Llambias added that the extent of the defender's injury was still being monitored.

"Our attentions at this time are firmly with Massadio. He only joined us in January, but in that short time he has impressed us immensely both on and off the field. Massadio was scanned yesterday and will continue to be assessed for the remainder of the week," Llambias added.

"He will undergo a further scan next week in order to determine the extent of the damage caused. Contrary to comments in the media, there is currently no timescale for his recovery."

Llambias also issued his disappointment at Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who had stated that the tackle made by McManaman "was a fair challenge".

"I have the greatest respect for Dave, who has been in the game for a long time as a professional footballer and now owner. I am also aware that Dave's career was cut short due to injury," Llambias said.

"I am therefore disappointed and surprised by the comments he made yesterday, in particular his assertion that the tackle by Callum McManaman 'was a fair challenge'.

"It was not a fair challenge. This view is shared by countless former players, referees and well-respected media commentators. Indeed it appears to be only Dave Whelan who takes a contrary view."

To add insult to injury, Newcastle assistant manager John Carver has been hit with a charge of misconduct.

At half-time Carver confronted McManaman on the pitch, and Wigan first-team coach Graham Barrow - who has also been charged - separated the pair before getting into an altercation with Carver. Both were set to the stands for the second half and have until Friday to respond to the charge.

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