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Premier League linesman in "homophobic" row – Charles Sale

Premier League linesman in 'homophobic' row

Campaign: The FA are cracking down on homophobia

Campaign: The FA are cracking down on homophobia

A Premier League linesman is the subject of serious homophobic complaints just after a Downing Street summit with PM David Cameron to combat anti-discrimination in football.

Scott Ledger, a 34-year-old assistant referee fast-tracked into the top flight, has been reported to the Sheffield & Hallamshire FA for allegedly making highly unacceptable comments to a team of youngsters aged between 15 and 16 during a five-a-side competition for South Yorkshire referees associations.

Ledger, who was playing for Rotherham in
the competition, is also alleged to have continued the homophobic abuse
against the young referees from Barnsley in the social gathering
afterwards.

The letter of complaint was sent by the Barnsley Referees Association to their regional FA who have informed their Wembley bosses .

The FA are cracking down on homophobia to the extent of handing out considerable fines for comments made on Twitter.

Manchester United's Federico Macheda has been docked 15,000, West Ham's Ravel Morrison 7,000, Newcastle's Nile Ranger 6,000 and Walsall's Manny Smith 1,200.

An FA spokesperson said: 'The FA are aware of a complaint made in relation to an alleged homophobic remark made by a participant and will be investigating.'

Lawyers benefit from England delay

The lawyers, as ever, will benefit from the long wait before the next England manager is named.

The FA intend to pursue a heavy-handed media strategy of threatening legal action over any unfounded and unchecked speculation about the appointment.

Instruction: Bernstein (left) 'advised' journalists to listen only to the Club England selection quartet

Instruction: Bernstein (left) 'advised' journalists to listen only to the Club England selection quartet

FA chairman David Bernstein 'strongly advised' journalists to listen only to the Club England selection quartet of himself, Alex Horne, Sir Trevor Brooking and Adrian Bevington and 'nobody else lacking in authority'.

Meanwhile the People, banned from FA Wembley matches for their disputed claim about Gareth Southgate being approached before Stuart Pearce for the interim role, did not print the demanded retraction last weekend.

Top QC voted on to Lord's committee

Top QC Robert Griffiths, who has led the opposition over MCC abandoning their 400million Vision rebuilding of Lord's, was yesterday voted on to the main committee.

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The election success of Griffiths has to be a resignation issue for chairman Oliver Stocken and treasurer Justin Dowley.

Especially as their strong supporter Peter Leaver, former chief executive of the Premier League, wasn't one of the four selected and Sir John Major resigned from the committee in protest at the manner of the Vision decision-making.

Griffiths said that Stocken and Dowley, as well as MCC president Phillip Hodson, should 'reflect on the significance of the result in terms of the governance of the club and Sir John's resignation'.

End of the 'Cockney Mafia'

A High court writ issued by Dennis Wise against Tony Jimenez signals the break-up of the close football relationship between the pair who were dubbed the 'Cockney Mafia' during their unpopular partnership at Newcastle.

Wise is claiming 616,000 in alleged monies owed from property developer Jimenez over an investment in French golf resort Les Bordes outside Paris.

Jimenez, in turn, is understood to be counter-suing over a property deal in Cyprus and an action connected to their time at Newcastle.

The influence of Jimenez and Wise on player recruitment during their time at Newcastle led to club icon Kevin Keegan quitting. Jimenez, now co-owner of League One leaders Charlton, had been widely expected to appoint Wise as manager at The Valley but did not.

There are conflicting views from the two camps as to whether Wise turned down the post or was overlooked.

Caretaker mops up

Such is the uncertainty at Chelsea, where everything happens at the whim of paymaster Roman Abramovich, that caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo believed he was heading for the exit door along with Andre Villas-Boas the night before he was handed the interim position until the end of the season.