Sunderland consider response to FA charge

Sunderland's James McClean in action at the Sports Direct Arena today, against Yohan Cabaye and Danny Simpson
Sunderland's James McClean in action at the Sports Direct Arena today, against Yohan Cabaye and Danny Simpson
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SUNDERLAND are considering their response to a Football Association charge against both derby clubs that they failed to control their players in Sunday’s bad-tempered game at the Sports Direct Arena.

The charge was announced last night and refers specifically to the 19th-minute incident when James McClean and Danny Simpson challenged for the ball in the Newcastle penalty area.

Referee Mike Dean showed yellow cards to both players – McClean for the challenge, Simpson for his response – but the FA have acted over the melee which developed between the players in the wake of the incident.

Every player barring Simon Mignolet was involved in pushing and shoving in front of the Gallowgate End and Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul twice pushed McClean in the chest.

And the FA has deemed the matter serious enough to hit both clubs with a charge.

The statement from the FA read: “Newcastle United and Sunderland have both been charged with misconduct following the match between the two sides on Sunday, March 4, 2012.

“The charge is that the clubs failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour and is in relation to an incident which occurred in the 19th minute following a challenge by Sunderland’s James McClean on Newcastle’s Danny Simpson.

“Both clubs have until 4pm on March 12, 2012, to respond to the charge.”

Sunderland will take the rest of the week to mull over their response, but it is unlikely they will appeal the charge.

It is the first time Sunderland have faced a charge this season. It is Newcastle’s second – they were fined £30,000 in August following United star Joey Barton’s scrap with Gervinho in the opening game of the season against Arsenal.

The McClean/Simpson incident was one of a series of flashpoints in a game which saw Dean issue eight yellow cards and reds to Sunderland duo Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon.

The game also saw an off-field yellow when Newcastle’s goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman was sent to the stands at half-time after confronting Sunderland’s fitness coach Jim Henry.