City count the cost of brawl in cash but not points

BRADFORD CITY have been fined £9,000 for their part in last month’s post-match brawl against Crawley Town.

The Bantams were hit with the charge of failing to control their players following the melee that broke out moments after the March 27 defeat against the Sussex club.

City had three players – Andrew Davies, Jon McLaughlin and Luke Oliver – sent off in the dressing room after the game by referee Ian Williamson, who also red-carded Crawley duo Claude Davies and Pablo Mills for their part in the trouble.

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Bradford admitted the FA charge at a hearing in London yesterday, when director David Baldwin and goalkeeper McLaughlin both appeared to express the club’s remorse at the unsavoury scenes.

City’s apologetic stance was welcomed by FA officials, who also took into account their exemplary disciplinary record over the past five years.

The severity of the scenes that followed Crawley’s 2-1 win at Valley Parade had seen the Bantams hit with a more serious charge than the standard one usually handed out following on-field disciplinary clashes.

Under FA laws, the standard charge can result in a maximum fine of £1,000. The more serious one, however, can bring a £10,000 fine and possible points deduction.

So, while Bradford have been hit hard in the pocket, the big plus for club officials is that their punishment has been restricted to money.

It means Phil Parkinson’s side remain seven points clear of the drop zone in League Two with four games remaining.

Crawley’s punishment will be confirmed today by the FA and they have been dealt with twice as harshly with an £18,000 fine.

Last season, Wycombe Wanderers and Macclesfield Town were both hit with a £9,000 fine after a similar clash between their players.

Defender Paul Robinson has extended his loan deal with Leeds United until the end of the season.

Robinson, 33, has made seven appearances at left-back since arriving on an initial one-month deal from Bolton Wanderers.

Leeds goalkeeper Paul Rachubka has extended his loan deal at Leyton Orient until the summer.

Australian goalkeeper Adam Federici produced an excellent performance to help Reading move back level on points with Championship leaders Southampton with a 1-0 win at Reading.

Having survived an early Brighton onslaught, Reading took the lead in the 14th minute with their first attack, Ian Harte’s free-kick taking a huge deflection to wrong-foot Peter Brezovan.

The victory – Reading’s fourth in a row and 13th in 15 games – means they are now six points clear of third-placed West Ham.