Newcastle furious as McManaman escapes

Newcastle United reacted with outrage last night after the Football Association announced that Wigan’s Callum McManaman will not face retrospective action for his studs-up challenge on defender Massadio Haidara.

The FA confirmed that the incident was seen by at least one of the match officials – even though referee Mark Halsey was unsighted – and, under current rules, that means retrospective action cannot be taken. The announcement led to a storm of criticism from former players and pundits, and Newcastle’s managing director Derek Llambias said the club would make immediate moves to change the disciplinary process.

To further infuriate the Magpies, assistant manager John Carver has been charged with misconduct by the FA, along with Wigan coach Graham 
Barrow, following their clash at half-time in Sunday’s match.

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Llambias said the disciplinary process was “not fit for purpose”.

Haidara suffered a possibly serious knee injury in the 
challenge by McManaman, but no action was taken against the Wigan player during the match.

Llambias said in a statement: “We are disappointed to learn that the FA is not going to charge the Wigan player. It is clear from this decision that the current disciplinary procedures are not fit for purpose. Newcastle United, along with other clubs, have had players suspended for incidents reviewed after the game. Whilst not trivialising these incidents, they were not, in our opinion, of the seriousness of Callum McManaman’s tackle on Haidara.”

The FA’s rules follow a decision last summer – after consulting with the leagues, Professional Footballers’ Association and referees – limiting retrospective action to off-the-ball incidents unseen by match officials. The rules apply unless there are exceptional circumstances, which would need to be more unusual than a late tackle, however nasty.