LONDON: Arsene Wenger called Mike Dean a “disgrace” and accused the referee of dishonesty after barging into the official’s dressing room for a furious rant following Arsenal’s controversial clash with West Bromwich Albion.
Arsenal manager Wenger was frustrated by Dean’s decision to give West Brom a late penalty when the official adjudged Calum Chambers to have handled Kieran Gibbs’ cross in the 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns on December 31.
A independent disciplinary hearing on January 5 gave Wenger a three-game touchline ban and Â£40,000 fine for the incident but the panel’s written reasons were only published on Tuesday.In Dean’s incident report, now published by the Football Association, he stated: “As we’ve entered the dressing room after the game Mr Wenger stood behind us in the doorway and told the West Brom steward to ‘let him in’.
“He was very aggressive leaning towards me, pointing aggressively at me saying ‘you’re not honest’ on numerous occasions.
“I replied ‘so you’re calling me a cheat’. He replied ‘I maintain what I say, you’re not honest’.“He then said ‘you’ve done this to us many times before, you’re supposed to be professional, you’re a disgrace’. He was then ushered out of the room by the West Brom safety officer.”
Assistant referees Simon Long and Ian Hussin and fourth official Christopher Kavanagh filed almost identical reports, with all three describing Wenger’s behaviour as “aggressive”.
The panel, chaired by former Villa, Everton and Bolton midfielder Gareth Farrelly, noted this was the second such case involving Wenger in a year, as the Frenchman was given a four-game touchline ban and Â£25,000 fine for an altercation with the fourth official during a 2-1 win over Burnley last January.
Stating that “there is simply no justification for this behaviour”, the panel considered imposing a stadium ban, but decided against it.They also thought about giving Wenger an “extended” touchline ban that would prevent him from entering the changing rooms or field of play for 30 minutes before or after a game.