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Sports news correspondent Gordon Farquhar
"The FA have issued a warning to clubs"
 real 28k

Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins
"It's not the clubs' fault, it's the players
 real 28k

Monday, 14 February, 2000, 18:09 GMT
FA slaps charge on four clubs

Leeds vs Spurs dissolves into a brawl


Leeds, Tottenham, Chelsea and Wimbledon have all been charged with misconduct by the Football Association as a result of confrontations in last weekend's matches.


Intimidation of match officials is unacceptable. Clubs must take responsibility
FA chief executive Adam Crozier
Spurs and Leeds will have to answer to a charge of failing to control their players following a mass stand-off at Elland Road on Saturday.

Wimbledon and Chelsea have been similarly accused following a clash after the final whistle on the same day.

The FA has deducted league points from clubs found guilty of violent conduct in the past, the last occasion being 10 years ago when Manchester United and Arsenal were involved in a mass brawl at Old Trafford.

Leeds left-back Ian Harte has been handed an individual charge for allegedly stamping on Spur's Chris Perry.

Meanwhile, Chelsea captain Dennis Wise and Wimbledon's right-back Kenny Cunningham and coach Mick Harford have been charged over an alleged incident in the players' tunnel at Stamford Bridge.

Ian Harte Ian Harte faces an individual charge
Players and clubs have 14 days to respond and can ask for personal hearings should they wish to do so.

The move by the FA comes after the weekend's Premiership action was marred by indiscipline and violence.

The association has also written to clubs to warn them that they will be held responsible if players show collective dissent towards officials.

Manchester United players have twice sparked criticism for such incidents, against Middlesbrough and Newcastle.

Roy Keane Dissent: Roy Keane on his way to a red card
FA chief executive Adam Crozier said: "I have spoken to the Premier League, the PFA and the League Managers' Association today about the action we are taking and all have been fully supportive.

"We made it clear two weeks ago that the game as a whole must improve its conduct and image and recognise the need to accept our position as role models.

"Intimidation of match officials is unacceptable. Clubs must take responsibility.

"Although referees are currently empowered to deal with individual cases of dissent, the FA will also take action where a number of individuals are also seen to become involved."

Premier League spokesman Mike Lee said: "Ultimately, disciplinary problems can only be tackled with the full backing of players and managers. We want to see a situation in which unacceptable behaviour is identified and stopped."
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See also:
13 Feb 00 |  Football
Vialli admits tunnel 'incident'
12 Feb 00 |  FA Carling Premiership
Blues close the gap
12 Feb 00 |  FA Carling Premiership
Kewell beauty wins ugly contest
14 Feb 00 |  Football
PFA boss backs crackdown
Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.