Boro want FA answers
Keith Lamb wants further talks with the FA following their decision to hand Jeremie Aliadiere a further one-match ban.
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 27/02/08 11:06am
Middlesbrough chief executive Keith Lamb wants further talks with the Football Association following their decision to hand Jeremie Aliadiere a further one-match ban.
Boro appealed against the red card that Aliadiere picked up against Liverpool at the weekend, but the FA's regulatory commission rejected the club's claim and increased the ban by a further match to four games, after describing their appeal as 'frivolous'.
The Teesside club have reacted with dismay at the decision to brand their claim as 'frivolous'.
"We have asked to speak to people in authority at the Football Association to let them know how inconsistent we think the commission has been," Lamb told Sky Sports News.
"Our real feelings are for Jeremie, who through Middlesbrough's actions has received a larger ban for actions that weren't his but the club's.
"We are angry and we are dismayed over the whole thing, the benchmark is that the referee has made an obvious and wrong decision.
"We spent all weekend looking at the video, we also listened to TV pundits, journalists and others in football including members of the Premier League and Football Association and eventually we decided there were grounds for the commission to reconsider that and we accept that the commission can decide, as they have done, that our appeal fails but what we can't accept is that our appeal is frivolous - it was anything but that, it was well thought out and considered and that is where our anger is.
"The referee said he saw the whole incident, in his opinion Mascherano did nothing wrong and didn't warrant any further action, but if one player's action didn't warrant any action - why should the other? And that was our basis for the appeal.
"When Chelsea appealed against Michael Essien's ban for striking an opponent the commission decided the ban would stand, but didn't consider it frivolous - so I don't know what benchmark they used."
Boro chairman Steve Gibson was equally annoyed at the FA's verdict.
"It's a ridiculous decision to call it frivolous and I'm absolutely furious," said Gibson.
"Most observers of our game thought it was very harsh when Jeremie was sent off and I certainly can't see how one player was more guilty than the other.
"To be sent off for violent conduct suggests the prospect of someone being seriously hurt and that clearly wasn't the case. On that basis we appealed.
"We thought a more experienced referee would have only given both players a talking to.
"To punish the club further simply because the disciplinary panel says our appeal was frivolous is absolutely subjective.
"We have amateurs in charge of the professional game.
"When you look at some of the bad tackles that have been punished far less it's completely ludicrous. This is a professional game and we need professional people making professional decisions not these silly little men."