Arsene Wenger was, with a degree of inevitability, found guilty yesterday by the FA. The charge of improper conduct arose from his comments made after the loss at Old Trafford earlier in the season when, howver much one would like to be able to dress it up, he called Ruud van Nistelrooy a cheat.|
He's been made to pay a fine of £15,000, which is a record for a manager. The going rate for calling a referee the same thing is around £10,000, which we'd have thought is worse than doing it to a player. Touchline bans are only handed out for touchline misdemeanours.
As precited, Wenger's defence was in essence that he was right and van Nistelrooy is in fact a cheat. While many observers will sympathize with this viewpoint, few could have been expecting the FA to be swayed by it... and that presumably includes Le Boss himself, who did not attend the hearing. As Alex Ferguson has pointed out, it does seem a little odd to request a personal hearing and then not show up for it.