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MANAGER: Both unfortunate incidents

Paul Simpson on the FA fine

11 December 2022

Club News

MANAGER: Both unfortunate incidents

Paul Simpson on the FA fine

11 December 2022

With news coming through last week that United had received a £3,000 combined fine from the FA for the altercations at Walsall and, last season, at Tranmere, manager Paul Simpson spoke about the incidents that had led to the ruling.

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“I obviously speak to the players about discipline, and I think our discipline has been reasonably good,” he said.

“It’s a difficult situation because we’re asking for a togetherness as a group. Part of the fine was carried over from the Tranmere situation last season and that came from Kelvin Mellor being on the end of a really bad tackle in front of our dugout.

“The referee dealt with that but as their player was walking off he grabbed Kelvin and tried to pull him up while he was being treated.

“Our players aren’t going to accept that, but I accept that when it’s more than two players it’s a mass confrontation and it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”

“At Walsall the other week we have their players goading our fans, and our players have a good affinity with our supporters, so they aren’t going to accept that either,” he continued.

“There are things that went on after that which made it into a bit of a pathetic pushing and shoving situation. It shouldn’t be that way, but our players are protecting themselves and sticking up for our supporters, so sadly this is going to happen.

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“I’ve spoken to them again and I will continue to speak to them about keeping our discipline and not allowing things to boil over.

“Sadly in the heat of the moment and with the emotion of football, sometimes it does, and I’m not sure we’re totally to blame for it, but we’ll take it on the chin and accept it.”

“With the way the rules are, if there’s more than two players involved, it’s a mass confrontation,” he said. “Unfortunately we had one hanging over us since the Tranmere game last season where we got warned.

“Both of the incidents were unfortunate circumstances where our players reacted to it. I’m not saying it's the right thing to do, but I totally understand why they did it.

“I’m just going to have to speak to them again about the discipline, about not getting involved in it. Sadly these things happen when emotions are high, but these things are not good for us.

“The money that pays the fine comes out of the football club coffers, and it’s money that could have gone towards doing something on the playing side. Unfortunately it now doesn’t and we’re going to have to find it from somewhere else.”

With the FA and EFL putting a lot of scrutiny on behaviour across all aspects of the game, he said: “It is about everybody’s behaviour. We’ve all got to behave properly.

“That goes for the staff on the sidelines as well. I got a yellow card at Tranmere last season, I didn’t really know why.

“I was told we managers had agreed to control the technical area, I hadn’t because I wasn’t at that meeting, and I don’t really know what I could have controlled, so I had to take a yellow card.

“But we’ve all got to behave. It’s the staff, with the players and supporters, we want them all to behave. We had quite a scary incident at Barrow in the Trophy game, where the firework gets thrown on and Mick Kelly nearly went to pick it up.

“I dread to think what injuries could have happened from that sort of stuff. We’ve had allegations of coins being thrown at Richie Wellens, all sort of things. We’ve all got to behave.

“I get that there’s emotion involved, we’ve all got to think about what we’re doing and make sure we keep control of our emotions, as difficult as that may be sometimes.”

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