Tag Archives: fracas

Joey Barton attends QPR v Liverpool match

A happy return, Joey Barton back from Marseille to watch parent club QPR collapse against Liverpool at Loftus Road

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UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 31 December 2012

Joey Barton made the trip across the Channel from Marseille to watch his parent club Queens Park Rangers suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

Barton played in Marseille's 1-0 victory over Saint Etienne on December 23, but took the opportunity to put in an appearance at Loftus Road to watch the basement side attempt to topple the visiting Reds.

It didn't go well for Harry Redknapp's men. Luis Suarez hit a double and Daniel Agger headed home to condemn Rangers to yet another defeat, leaving them rock bottom and eight points from safety.

Familiar face: Joey Barton (second row, centre) was back at Loftus Road

Familiar face: Joey Barton (second row, centre) was back at Loftus Road

The loanee made the switch to the Ligue 1 club this summer, but first had to serve a 12-match domestic ban for his part in the final-day fracas at the Etihad Stadium last season.

The 30-year-old midfielder has deputised 12 times for Marseille, who are level on points with league-leaders Paris Saint Germain and second-placed Lyon in the French league.

Barton scored his first and only competitive goal for the Ligue 1 title hopefuls against Borussia Mnchengladbach in their 2-2 Europa League draw in November.

Impressed Barton watched his parent club get hammered 3-0

Impressed Barton watched his parent club get hammered 3-0

Impressed Barton watched his parent club get hammered 3-0

Redknapp's QPR, on the other hand, are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, having picked up a paltry 10 points from the first 19 games.

Barton, who has won over the fans of his temporary club, will be back in France for Marseille's Coupe de France tie against Guingamp on January 6 at the Stade Velodrome.

Is that it Luis Suarez led the charge for Liverpool and scored twice

Is that it Luis Suarez led the charge for Liverpool and scored twice

Contrast: It's all smiles at Marseille, who are level on points with league leaders Paris Saint Germain

Contrast: It's all smiles at Marseille, who are level on points with league leaders Paris Saint Germain

Paul Taylor arrested following Ipswich pub brawl, two injured

Ipswich striker Taylor arrested following pub brawl which left two injured

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UPDATED:

13:06 GMT, 21 November 2012

Ipswich Town striker Paul Taylor has been arrested following a pub fracas in which two members of staff were assaulted and injured.

Taylor, 25, joined the Tractor Boys in a 1.75 million move from Championship rivals Peterborough in August.

He is expected to miss the remainder of the season after surgery on a broken foot sustained in only his third game for the club.

Fracas: Taylor has been arrested after an incident at an Ipswich pub

Fracas: Taylor has been arrested after an incident at an Ipswich pub

A police statement confirmed that Taylor and a 24-year-old woman from Liverpool, believed to be his girlfriend, were arrested following an incident in an Ipswich town centre pub on October 16 at 12.15am.

The statement added: 'Two male members of staff within the premises were assaulted. One victim suffered a broken rib and the other a fractured eye socket and a broken finger.'

The couple have been released on police bail pending further enquiries until January 16 2013.

It is not the first time that Liverpool-born Taylor, who launched his career as a youth player at Manchester City, has been in trouble.

On the move: Taylor joined Town from Peterbrough in the summer

On the move: Taylor joined Town from Peterbrough in the summer

Four years ago, when he was at Chester City, he was banned from playing for six months after traces of cocaine were found in a random drugs sample.

He moved to Belgian lower league outfit Montegne before his goals alerted giants Anderlecht, for whom he signed in December 2009. He returned to England to join Peterborough in February last year.

An Ipswich Town statement said: 'We are aware of an alleged incident that took place in the town recently involving one of our players that is currently being investigated by the police.

'We are in communication with the police authorities over this matter but will be making no further comment at this stage.'

Paul Lambert won"t avoid confrontation with Roberto Mancini

Villa boss Lambert promises he won't duck another confrontation with Mancini

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UPDATED:

01:19 GMT, 17 November 2012

Paul Lambert goes up against Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium this afternoon and will not avoid another confrontation.

Manchester City’s boss upset Lambert with his card-waving antics at Aston Villa players when the clubs met in the Capital One Cup two months ago.

Flashpoint: Lambert and Mancini squared up during League Cup clash

Flashpoint: Lambert and Mancini squared up during League Cup clash

While Lambert says the September fracas has been forgotten, he added: ‘I’m there to defend my team. I’m sure Roberto will be the same. I’ll shake his hand before and after.

‘I’m pretty sure he’ll shake my hand. Emotions overspill in a game — I don’t have any problems with it — he’s a manager, ex-footballer, it’s going to happen.’

Mark Clattenburg latest: Chelsea player "I"ll break your leg" threat and John Terry claims

Was race row ref Clattenburg told: 'I'll break your legs,' by a Chelsea player in the explosive row that rocked Stamford BridgeChelsea players and officials 'acted like bouncers', it is claimedWas banned captain John Terry involved in the rowManager Di Matteo emerged 'sweating' after acting as peacemakerRef is stood down from this weekend's matches but says he is innocentManchester United players will be called to give evidence in FA investigationMikel among Chelsea players back in training ahead of United rematch

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UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 30 October 2012

Race storm referee Mark Clattenburg was threatened by a member of the Chelsea squad, who told him: 'I'm going to f****** break your legs,', it has been claimed.

Players and staff swarmed into the referee's room at Stamford Bridge in the aftermath of the explosive Barclays Premier League game with Manchester United when a heated exchange took place, resembling a 'pub brawl'.

The Daily Mirror claims Chelsea players and officials 'charged into the room and acted like bouncers'. The threat to Clattenburg was heard coming from within the room.

The Mirror also reports that Roberto Di Matteo
left
the room 'drenched in sweat' and that captain John Terry,
who was suspended from the game following his FA charge for racially
insulting Anton Ferdinand, was close to the fracas. Today, however,
sources close to Terry deny he was involved and, in fact, insist he
'stayed well clear.'

It follows claims that Clattenburg,
who is the subject of an FA and police investigation, racially abused
Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel. Clattenburg denies the allegation
and he is supported by his two assistants, Michael McDonough and Simon
Long.

Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on

Back at work: John Obi Mikel arrives at training on Tuesday morning as the row rumbles on

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

Focus: Juan Mata drives into Chelsea's Cobham HQ ahead of Wednesday's clash with United

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

At the wheel: Fernando Torres was also among the players training on Tuesday morning

Mikel was among the Chelsea players back at training on Tuesday morning ahead of the rematch with United in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.

Mirror reporter Darren Lewis told Sky Sports News today: 'There were lots of things that were said in what was an explosive confrontation in the referee’s room after the match.

'That (“I'll break your legs”) is one of the things that has allegedly been said. It’s not been ascertained by whom but a lot of things have been said inside the heat of the dressing room during a furious confrontation.'

Among those who were either in or close to the referee's room were manager Roberto Di Matteo and chief executive Ron Gourlay, who were thought to be acting as peacemakers, trying to calm the angry Mikel.

It is reported that 'banging and shouting' could be heard from inside the room and security staff were later involved.

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Trouble: John Obi Mikel stormed into Mark Clattenburg's room

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Centre of the storm: Referee Mark Clattenburg and Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel

Clattenburg has filed an
'extraordinary incident' report into the matter and has been stood down
from Saturday's matches while the investigations into his conduct take
place.

Manchester United's players, who won
3-2 at Stamford Bridge against ten-man Chelsea, are expected to be asked
by the FA: 'What did you hear on – and off – the pitch'.

When Obi Mikel stormed into the referee’s room on Sunday evening, he believed he had every right to be angry with Clattenburg.

Chelsea had made a stand, wearing Kick
It Out’s ‘One Game One Community’ T-shirts before one of the most
prestigious fixtures in the Barclays Premier League.

It
was a fresh start, with handshakes all round and an anti-racism badge
pinned to John Terry’s jacket on the sidelines as he continued to serve a
four-match ban for insulting Anton Ferdinand.

What followed is in danger of dragging the game back into the gutter, sparking bitter recrimination and — for the first time in the professional game’s history in England — an allegation of racism against a referee.

Mikel responded after team-mates David Luiz and Ramires told him they believed he had been racially abused by the FIFA official moments after he was booked at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel did not hear the alleged abuse, but Ramires and Luiz are prepared to make statements saying they did.

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

Shocked: Juan Mata is unhappy with Clattenburg's alleged insult

In the explosive scenes that followed the final whistle, Di Matteo and Gourlay had to stop Mikel attacking Clattenburg during the confrontation.

Heated conversations between Mikel and the referee had begun when Fernando Torres was sent off after being booked for ‘aggressive simulation’.

The central midfielder continued to cross swords with Clattenburg during the next few frantic minutes as he demanded an explanation for the decision.

Mikel wanted to know why Torres had been booked for a second time when Chelsea’s players were convinced he had been caught by Jonny Evans on his way through on goal in the 68th minute. When Clattenburg told Mikel to keep quiet and to get on with the game, the Nigeria midfielder continued to protest.

John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata

John Terry watches from the stands as Ashley Young takes on Juan Mata

Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban

Terry and his wife Toni leave Novikov in London on Saturday night as he takes the chance for a night off because of his four game FA ban

It is understood Mikel used words to the effect of: ‘Why can’t we stand up for ourselves, why can’t we challenge your decisions’

The dismissal of Torres had reduced Chelsea to nine men, coming on top of the 63rd-minute red card for Branislav Ivanovic, and emotions were running high.

When Torres was sent off, Di Matteo and Sir Alex Ferguson clashed on the touchline as coaching staff from both clubs spilled into the technical area. Clattenburg appeared to have the game under control again until the moment Javier Hernandez scored United’s winner from an offside position in the 75th minute.

As United celebrated near the corner
of the West Stand and Matthew Harding Stand, some Chelsea supporters
threw coins and a seat on to the field.

Clattenburg
soon restored order but Mikel was in his ear again and making the same
complaints, saying the decision to send off Torres was the reason
Chelsea would lose the game.

In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans

In the blue corner: Javier Hernandez celebrated his goal in front of the Chelsea fans

Clattenburg booked him for dissent in the 76th minute and it is at this moment that Ramires and Luiz allege they heard the midfielder being racially abused by a referee who is known for having a dismissive and patronising tone when he talks to players about their behaviour.

Mikel was immediately told about the allegation, but decided to wait until after the game to confront Clattenburg with the claims.

Chelsea have also confirmed a separate incident, understood to involve Juan Mata, after claims that Clattenburg called him ‘a Spanish t**t’.

Mata is an astute and intelligent professional and, according to sources at the club, he was visibly shocked when he heard Clattenburg’s insult.

Chelsea’s position had not changed on Monday night and the incident was the talk of their Cobham training ground in Surrey during the day. Many of the players were in for a light session after the 3-2 defeat against United and they eagerly discussed Clattenburg’s behaviour.

Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge

Standing alone: Clattenburg found few friends in Stamford Bridge

Some of them will face United again in
the Capital One Cup at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night as Chelsea
prepare for another lengthy spell in the spotlight.

Although
the players are ready for another FA investigation, it is understood
that Manchester United are unable to help with their enquiries.

Most
of their players have been asked if they heard — or were made aware of —
either incident, but they are unable to provide any assistance.

Mikel has since told team-mates he intends to pursue the matter and they have agreed to provide statements to the FA if asked.

Following
the angry scenes in the referee’s room, witnessed by Clattenburg’s
assistants Michael McDonough and Simon Long, Chelsea discussed the
incident at length. Mikel was taken away from the corridor that leads to
the tunnel so the media, separated from the dressing-room areas by the
width of a wall, could not hear what was said.

During
those discussions, Gourlay decided to press ahead with a complaint to
match delegate Nick Cusack and arranged for some of the details to be
made public at 7.45 that evening.

Chelsea’s
deliberations were the reason for the delay between the final whistle
and Di Matteo’s appearance at his post-match press briefing.

Clattenburg, as required by the FA, then filed details of an ‘extraordinary incident’ at Stamford Bridge overnight.

On
Monday morning he received communication from the FA’s compliance team
as they prepared for a swift investigation into the remarkable
allegation.

Chelsea are also
under intense scrutiny after being criticised by the FA’s independent
regulatory commission following the commission’s decision to ban Terry
for four games and fine him 220,000 for racially abusing Anton
Ferdinand.


In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

In the spotlight: Mark Clattenburg leaves his home near Newcastle on Monday

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

Grabbing a lift: Clattenburg jumped into a car with fellow ref Michael Oliver

The commission judged that the Chelsea
skipper’s evidence relating to the incident at Loftus Road in October
2011 was ‘improbable, implausible and contrived’.

They
also reflected on the ‘evolution of Ashley Cole’s evidence’ that led to
an infamous tweet directed at the FA for which he was fined 90,000,
and concluded that the evidence given by long-serving club secretary
Dave Barnard was ‘materially defective’.

After Terry was banned by the FA, Di Matteo encouraged the public to give the disgraced captain ‘a second chance’.

Clattenburg
could be charged under Rule E3, the same as Terry, and there is a
determination within the FA for a swift resolution to yet another
crisis.

VIDEO: Clattenburg and Mikel have words on the pitch…

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Anatomy of an extraordinary incident

What happened
With
the score 2-2 and Chelsea reduced to nine men after Branislav Ivanovic
and Fernando Torres were sent off, Javier Hernandez controversially puts
United ahead with 15 minutes left. In the chaos that follows, Mark
Clattenburg is confronted by Chelsea players and books John Obi Mikel in
the 76th minute. Chelsea players allege this is when Clattenburg aimed a
racial slur at Mikel and used ‘inappropriate language’ towards a
Spanish player, thought to be Juan Mata.

Who heard what
Brazilian
midfielder Ramires looked on as Clattenburg booked Mikel, the referee
raising a finger to his lips to tell the Nigerian to keep quiet. Mata
was also close by as the Chelsea players protested about United’s goal.
It is understood Mikel himself did not hear the alleged comment and was
told of it later by team-mates.

Clattenburg
was linked by microphone to his two assistants, Michael McDonough and
Simon Long, and the fourth official, Mike Jones. All four officials wear
earpieces, so any comments should have been heard — unless Clattenburg
covered his microphone.

The
microphone system was first used by Premier League referees in the
2006-07 season and allows the referee to communicate key information to
his assistants. However, the
microphone messages are not recorded, so any evidence will have to come
from the testimony of Clattenburg’s assistants.

What about video evidence
So
far there has been nothing such as the explosive film that played such a
big part in the John Terry case. Sky will undoubtedly be asked to
provide footage from the many cameras they use to cover live matches. In
the Terry case, footage was posted on the internet within hours of the
end of the match.

What next
Clattenburg
and his match officials will have been asked for a statement, usually
sent by email to the FA’s governance department, on their recollection
of events at Stamford Bridge.

The
officials are urged to tell the truth and are reminded that this case
could be judged by an independent regulatory commission.

Match officials may seek independent legal advice.

FA urge officials to respond quickly, particularly in light of delays to Luis Suarez and John Terry cases.

Compliance department meets to discuss the nature of Chelsea’s complaint and the evidence of the match officials.

If
they charge Clattenburg under Rule E3 he will have 14 days to respond.
He may request a personal hearing or accept the allegations.

If
Clattenburg is charged, the FA will visit the match officials and any
other witnesses, including John Obi Mikel, Juan Mata and other Chelsea
players, to take full statements.

The
FA’s handling of the case could, of course, be delayed by any police
proceedings. The John Terry case did, after all, hang over football for
12 months.

Professional referees
English
referees first became professional in 2001 when the Professional Game
Match Officials Board (PGMOB) was formed. Top Premier League referees
are paid an annual salary in excess of 70,000, which includes a
retainer and individual match fees of around 1,000.

The
best officials typically referee around 30 Premier League games a
season, though this can fluctuate depending on form. Those at the top
are then selected by FIFA and UEFA to take charge of big games. Howard
Webb refereed both the World Cup and Champions League finals in 2010.

ANDREW MAGEE, JAMIE PRESLAND

FA threaten Serbia boycott after England players racially abused

Angry FA threaten Serbia boycott: 'We shouldn't play in such an abusive and violent place,' says Horne

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 17 October 2012

The Football Association have threatened to stop playing matches against Serbia in the wake of the disgraceful scenes of racism and violence that marred England Under 21s’ 1-0 win in Krusevac on Tuesday.

Danny Rose revealed he was subjected to abuse throughout the game.

Scroll down for video

Fury: Danny Rose (right) is separated from Serbian player Milos Ninkovic by England colleague Craig Dawson

Fury: Danny Rose (right) is separated from Serbian player Milos Ninkovic by England colleague Craig Dawson

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FA general secretary Alex Horne said: ‘No football team should be asked to play in any environment where racial abuse, violence and threatening behaviour is prevalent. We must question the validity of sending a team to Serbia in the future.’

But the Serbian FA denied accusations of racism and tried to blame the English for the problems.

Incredibly, UEFA announced disciplinary
proceedings against both the FA and the Serbian FA, charging them over
the improper conduct of their players.

Seeing red: Rose is sent off by referee Huseyin Gocek after kicking a ball into the crowd

Seeing red: Rose is sent off by referee Huseyin Gocek after kicking a ball into the crowd

The Serbian FA have also been charged with alleged racist chanting by their fans. The cases will be discussed by UEFA on November 22.

But Horne’s comment has raised doubts that England will take a team to Serbia again.

Fracas: England and Serbia players clash after the final whistle

Fracas: England and Serbia players clash after the final whistle

That is a move that would almost certainly end football relations between the nations and land UEFA and FIFA with a problem when organising future qualifying schedules at all levels of the game.

England Under 21s’ black players were subjected to racist abuse during the Euro 2013 qualifier and were then attacked by Serbian players and officials during a melee at the final whistle.

Enraged: Marvin Sordell erupts next to the players' tunnel

Enraged: Marvin Sordell erupts next to the players' tunnel

Sunderland defender Rose was sent off when he expressed his frustration at the abuse by kicking the ball away.

In a statement on their website, the Serbian FA denied the scuffles were prompted by racism issues and accused Rose of inciting problems in the crowd.

Fist of fury: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic throws a punch

Fist of fury: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic throws a punch

The statement read: ‘The FA of Serbia absolutely refuses (sic) and denies that there were any occurrences of racism before and during the match. Danny Rose behaved in an inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner towards the supporters and for that he was shown a red card.’

Rose said: ‘I remember getting slapped twice and then I got ushered away. That’s when I kicked the ball — and the referee sent me off.

‘As I went off, again there was monkey chanting, but the monkey chanting started long before I got sent off. In the second half I had two stones hit me on the head when I went to get the ball for a throw-in. Every time I touched the ball there was monkey chanting again. They have to be banned.’

Peacemaker: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica attempts to keep players apart

Peacemaker: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica attempts to keep players apart

UEFA were urged by the FA, the Government and Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle to throw the book at the Serbians, whose fans have faced several accusations of racial abuse in the past.

Horne added: ‘We call on UEFA to take the strongest possible action against the Serbian FA, their supporters and anyone found guilty of being involved in the numerous instances of violence and abuse. We must defend Danny Rose, who was sent off due to the frustration of being a target of racial abuse.’

Under attack: England coach Steve Wigley is thrown to the ground by Serbian players

Under attack: England coach Steve Wigley is thrown to the ground by Serbian players

Sports minister Hugh Robertson was shown a YouTube clip filmed at the game which appears to show monkey chants taking place.

Robertson, who has written to UEFA president Michel Platini urging tough action, said: ‘No young man, or indeed woman, representing his or her country should be subjected at a sports fixture to this sort of vile abuse.’

Video of the sickening monkey chants at the final whistle

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But Rio Ferdinand accused the FA of double standards in taking a tougher line against racism abroad than they do at home.

He tweeted: ‘Agreed, All jump on bandwagon when judging everyone else but all bottle merchants when it’s on home soil #DoubleStandards’.

The tweet was a reference to how Ferdinand believes he and his brother Anton were treated during the investigation into the racist comments aimed by John Terry at Anton during a game.

Serbia rap sheet

October 2000: Lazio’s Sinisa Mihajlovic, now Serbia’s coach, banned for two games for racially abusing Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira in Uefa Cup tie.

June 2007: Serbian FA fined 16,500 after England Under 21 players racially abused at European Championship.

July 2007: Partizan Belgrade kicked out of Uefa Cup after fans threw stones and fought with Zrinjski Mostar fans in Bosnia. Partizan also fined 25,000.

Sept 2009: French fan Brice Taton, 28, murdered by 30-strong group armed with iron bars and baseball bats ahead of Europa League match between Partizan and Toulouse. A Serbian court later jailed 14 men for a total of 240 years.

Oct 2010: Italy awarded 3-0 victory after Euro 2012 qualifier in Genoa against Serbia was abandoned after trouble from travelling hooligans. Game halted after six minutes, Serbs fined 104,000.

Troy Deeney jailed for 10 months

Watford striker Deeney to serve 10 months in prison for Birmingham nightclub attack

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UPDATED:

16:44 GMT, 25 June 2012

Jailed: Deeney will serve 10 months in prison

Jailed: Deeney will serve 10 months

Watford striker Troy Deeney has been jailed for 10 months for taking part in a savage attack on a group of students outside a nightclub.

Deeney was caught on CCTV as he kicked one of the victims in the head during a night out, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

The 23-year-old, who pleaded guilty to affray at an earlier hearing, was arrested shortly after the fracas, which left one man with a broken jaw and another requiring 20 stitches to a mouth wound.

Deeney, from Chelmsley Wood, West Midlands, was sentenced alongside three other men, including his younger brother Ellis Deeney, who also admitted affray.

Passing sentence, Judge David Tomlinson said CCTV footage of the incident near the Bliss Nightclub on Broad Street, Birmingham, showed that Troy Deeney and his friend Oliver Brennan played a more serious role in the disorder than the other defendants.

The 30-second video clip, which was played to the court several times, clearly showed both Troy Deeney and Brennan kicking out at the 'defenceless' students, one of whom received repeated blows to the head as he lay injured.

Although the judge accepted that none of the grievous injuries inflicted on the victims could be attributed to any particular defendant, he said the kicks to the head were an aggravating feature of the case.

Promise: The 23-year-old netted 12 times for Watford last season

Promise: The 23-year-old netted 12 times for Watford last season

The judge told the defendants: 'Three men in particular were singled out for what can only be described as a gratuitous beating.

'All four of you to a greater or lesser degree joined in but the effect of it was that these three men, who were already heavily outnumbered, became even more so as a result of what you all did.

'At least one kicked a man while he was already on the ground and very probably had already suffered a really serious injury.'

The court heard that the students were set upon after a man demanding entry to the Bliss club had a metal pole taken off him at about 2.20am on February 29.

Troy Deeney, who joined Watford from Walsall in August 2010 for an initial fee of 250,000, urged a woman sitting in the public gallery not to cry after he was sentenced.

The striker scored 12 goals for Watford last season. The club said it was fully aware of the sentencing but had no further comment to make.

El Hadji Diouf wants to join Leeds

Diouf willing to forget Becchio spat and join Argentine at Leeds

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UPDATED:

23:38 GMT, 30 April 2012

El Hadji Diouf says he wants to link up with Luciano Becchio at Leeds United.

The two were involved in a fracas when Leeds beat Doncaster back in February that spilled into the tunnel.

Diouf, 31, is ready to join Leeds on a free transfer and said: 'Becchio is a good, intelligent player. I'm sure he and I could link up well at Leeds. It would be ideal for me.'

On the move: El Hadji Diouf looks set to join Leeds for next season

On the move: El Hadji Diouf looks set to join Leeds for next season

Biarritz 19 Brive 0: Yachvili sets up duel with Wilkinson in Challenge Cup final

Biarritz 19 Brive 0: Yachvili sets up duel with Wilkinson in Challenge Cup final

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 28 April 2012

Biarritz reached their third European final in six years with a one-sided victory over Brive at the Stade Aguilera.

Dimitri Yachvili kicked 14 points and
Damien Traille crossed for the game's only try as Biarritz set up a May
18 clash with Toulon in the Amlin Challenge Cup final, after Johnny Wilkinson kicked a last-gasp drop goal to secure a
32-29 win over Stade Francais yesterday.

Key man: Dimitri Yachvili sets up a Biarritz attack

Key man: Dimitri Yachvili sets up a Biarritz attack

Yachvili missed an early penalty but kicked his next two to put Biarritz 6-0 up after the opening quarter of the game, Riaan Swanepoel missing for Brive in between times.

And good work by Marcelo Bosch sent Traille over for the game's only touchdown, which was awarded after consultation with the television match official. France team-mate Yachvili added the extras to make it 13-0 at half-time.

Brive had another chance to pull back three points in the 48th minute but Swanepoel was off-target again.

Good work by Benoit Baby and Iain Balshaw earned Yachvili the chance to land his third penalty in the 67th minute, and he slotted another three points five minutes later after a fracas.

That was the end of the scoring, and the game finished on a sour note for Brive when Alexandre Barozzi was red-carded in the last minute.

Cesc Fabregas: Barcelona deserved to win but I wish Chelsea all the best in final

Fabregas: Barca deserved to win but I wish Chelsea all the best in final (even Lampard)

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UPDATED:

11:23 GMT, 25 April 2012

Cesc Fabregas is gutted not to have
reached the Champions League final but pleased Barcelona did not
sacrifice their philosophy to get there.

The Catalans came into last night's
semi-final second leg on the back of successive defeats, losing 1-0 to
Chelsea in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge and then suffering a
home defeat to arch rivals Real Madrid.

Rivals: Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas clashes with Chelsea's Frank Lampard...

Rivals: Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas clashes with Chelsea's Frank Lampard…

Wilshere tweet2

… the pair have previous after a fracas during 2007 Carling Cup final

Barcelona's losing run stretched to three games at the Nou Camp as the Blues somehow overcame John Terry's first-half sending off to secure a 2-2 draw and progress to the Munich finale.

Fabregas was disappointed not to defeat the west Londoners given Barca's dominance but insists they will overcome the disappointment.

'It's a painful way to go out because we were superior,' he said.

'The result in Stamford Bridge is what did us in.

'We played a great game, we dominated and we created a lot of chances. We didn't sacrifice our style.

'It's painful to be eliminated this way, seeing that we had a lot of chances to score.

Payback: Lampard was booked for foul on Fabregas

Payback: Lampard was booked for foul on Fabregas

'It's a very hard blow. We have to hold our heads high. [Next year] we'll have the chance to do important things.'

Fabregas' sentiments were echoed by a number of his Barca team-mates on Twitter.

Isaac Cuenca, who set-up Sergio Busquets for the hosts' opening goal,
said: 'We fought until the end. Fans, I'm very sorry. We'll pick
ourselves up with your help forcabarca.'

Andres Iniesta doubled Barcelona's advantage as half-time approached and
posted after the match: 'It's a difficult and hard moment. We did
everything to be in the Munich final, but it wasn't meant to be…'

Dani Alves was another to express his disappointment via the social
network, adding: 'I'd like to thank all the Cules for your support and,
at the same time, apologise for what happened. We tried but it wasn't
meant to be.'

Crawley and Bradford to face FA charges after mass brawl

Crawley and Bradford to face FA charges after mass brawl

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UPDATED:

19:40 GMT, 29 March 2012

The Football Association charged Crawley and Bradford following the mass brawl at the final whistle of their League Two clash on Tuesday.

Crawley players Pablo Mills and Kyle McFadzean must also answer individual charges of violent conduct.

Shameful behaviour: Bradford and Crawley players brawl

Shameful behaviour: Bradford and Crawley players brawl

Referee Iain Williamson sent off five
players, including Mills, as the two sides swapped punches in the
minutes after Crawley’s 2-1 win.

Mills faces an instant three-match ban and could get a longer suspension.

McFadzean, who escaped punishment on the night, and Mills have until 6pm on Friday to respond.

The clubs have been charged for
failing to ensure their players and/or officials conducted themselves in
an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour.

They have until 4pm next Tuesday to respond.

Riot: Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin is escorted from the field by Crawley's Michael Kuipers

Riot: Bradford keeper Jon McLaughlin is escorted from the field by Crawley's Michael Kuipers

Bradford’s Jonathan McLaughlin, Luke
Oliver and Andrew Davies and Crawley’s Mills and Claude Davis all
received red cards from Williamson.
The FA studied video footage of the punch-up before acting and Crawley
have promised to conduct their own internal investigation into the
fracas.

A statement read: 'Crawley Town Football Club are in receipt of the charges brought by the Football Association in respect of the incidents at the end of Tuesday's match against Bradford City.

'Chief executive Alan Williams is conducting a full investigation, which will include player statements, taking appropriate legal advice and will then respond to the respective charges within the timescales outlined by the FA.

'There will be no further comment from Crawley Town on this matter until investigations are complete and any hearings have taken place.'