Leeds United: Warnock charged over referee ‘snub’

Leeds United manager Neil Warnock was critical of referee Mark Halsey.
Leeds United manager Neil Warnock was critical of referee Mark Halsey.
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Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for allegedly ordering his players not to shake referee Mark Halsey’s hand in the wake of Sunday’s defeat at Millwall.

Warnock could receive a two-match touchline ban following the incident at the end of Leeds’s controversial televised loss at the New Den.

Warnock was cited by the FA yesterday over his angry reaction to Halsey’s performance in the 1-0 defeat.

The Leeds boss was seen ushering his players away from the Lancashire official as both sides prepared to leave the pitch.

The charge of improper conduct is believed to relate to that incident, rather than Warnock’s post-match criticism of Halsey.

Warnock has been accused of breaching FA rule E3, a charge which could potentially carry a two-game touchline ban.

He has been given until 4pm on Friday to respond.

An FA statement said: “Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has been charged by the FA for an alleged breach of Rule E3.

“The charge is in relation to improper conduct following his side’s game at Millwall on November 18. Warnock has until 4pm on November 23 to respond to the charge.”

Warnock criticised Halsey for sending off United’s Luke Varney two minutes into the second half of a game that was in the balance at the New Den.

He also claimed that Halsey should have awarded a penalty for a foul on Tom Lees while the match was still goalless.

Speaking about Varney’s red card – shown to the winger for an elbow on Millwall right-back Adam Smith – Warnock said: “He’s a top referee and he’ll be disappointed when he watches it back.

“I didn’t think someone of his experience would have gone straight for his red card. When you watch the sending-off again, we don’t have thousands of Millwall fans screaming at us. It’s not caught him where he’s holding when he’s gone down.”

On Halsey’s performance overall, Warnock said: “The amount of effort that’s gone into the game and we’re talking about a refereeing decision – it’s scandalous.

“Referees aren’t as consistent – they’ve gone backwards, I think.

“I don’t know what’s happening with referees and sending-offs nowadays.

“When I was younger referees tried to make sure they kept it 11 versus 11. It seems to have gone all to cock at the moment.

“They make certain decisions but they should make them all.

“We were very short-changed and I thought we did well in the circumstances.

“We tried to win the game and be positive. But we end up talking more about the referee than the actual game.”

Leeds, meanwhile, have recalled 19-year-old striker Dominic Poleon from his loan spell at Bury.

Poleon’s deal with the League One club was extended on Monday but Leeds activated a 24-hour recall clause yesterday, bolstering their squad for Saturday’s game against high-flying Crystal Palace at Elland Road.

Warnock said: “Ross isn’t 100 per cent fit as yet and with Luke Varney missing out for the weekend we’re a few bodies light.

“Dominic has done well at Bury. He’s played some matches, scored some goals, and he comes back to us match fit.”

Leeds continue to await final confirmation of a takeover that has been rumbling on since May.

Bahraini investment bank GFH Capital said last week that they have extended the period of exclusivity concerning their protracted buyout of the club.

Leeds have missed out on bringing back Matt Kilgallon to Elland Road, with the former Sheffield United defender still required by his parent club Sunderland.

Warnock and the rest of the Football League managers have until 5pm tomorrow to make loan signings. Once that deadline passes they have to wait until January 1 to replenish their resources.

With that in mind, Barnsley have strengthened their attacking options by signing Championship striker Emile Sinclair on loan.

Sinclair joins from Peterborough United on a deal until January 19. He is ineligible to play against his parent club on New Year’s Day.

Former Macclesfield striker Sinclair is a tall, powerful and quick striker, and is the second forward to arrive at Oakwell in the last week after Marcus Tudgay joined from Nottingham Forest on a temporary deal.

Sinclair was recently fined and transfer-listed for his part in an alleged incident in Peterborough city centre which came hours after a defeat to Crystal Palace.