HIBERNIAN have written to the SFA in response to the notice of complaint served on manager Pat Fenlon following their Scottish Cup final humiliation at the hands of rivals Hearts, and the Irishman will face a hearing on 14 June.
The Easter Road club were given until yesterday to make representations to the governing body after Fenlon was accused of making an offensive gesture towards the Hearts fans in the closing seconds of his side’s 5-1 hammering at Hampden.
Fenlon is now expected to attend the hearing at Hampden for an alleged breach of rule 203, which governs a wide range of misconduct during matches, including “continued use of offensive, abusing and/or insulting language and/or behaviour”.
The former Bohemians manager appeared to respond to the taunts of the Hearts fans, who mockingly sang “There’s only one Pat Fenlon” as Paulo Sergio’s side romped to the trophy, and his ignominy was compounded when Fenlon was sent to the stand by referee Craig Thomson.
However, immediately after the game, Fenlon denied aiming the insult at the jubilant rival fans and instead insisted he had made the gesture “in relation to the way we were playing”.
Had Hibs not responded by yesterday’s date it would have been viewed by the SFA as an admission of guilt on Fenlon’s part, but the 43-year-old, who could be hit with a two-match touchline suspension if found guilty, will now have his fate decided by next month’s Judicial Panel Tribunal.
Meanwhile, Fenlon has told Mark Brown he wants to keep him for next season, according to the keeper’s agent.
The former Inverness, Motherwell and Celtic shot-stopper played second fiddle to Graham Stack throughout most of the season but finished the campaign between the sticks following an injury to his English rival.
Stack, who claimed he had been told by Fenlon a month ago that there would be a new contract for him this summer, has since been released by the Easter Road outfit after three injury-afflicted years at the club.
However, it appears that Brown could be spared Fenlon’s extensive cull this summer after reportedly being told he is part of the Irishman’s plans for next term.
Brown’s representative, Kevin Drinkell, said: “Mark had a chat with Pat last week and he said he wanted to keep Mark. They had to get together to talk about their plans for next season, and Pat told him he would like him to be there next year.
“He sees Mark as a good keeper, a good pro and great in the dressing room, and we’ll see how things progress now.”
Brown made just 13 appearances for Hibs last season. The Scotland B cap played four times in January due to Stack’s calf problem but was dropped following the 4-0 defeat to Rangers and had to wait until the semi-final win over Aberdeen to return to the side when Stack injured his thigh 17 minutes from time.