Sheffield Wednesday manager Dave Jones has vowed to clear his name after being hit with a misconduct charge by the Football Association.
Police and stewards were called in to restore order after Jones and Brighton first-team coach Charlie Oatway clashed on the touchline during the second half of Wednesday’s 3-1 win at Hillsborough last Saturday.
After the game, Jones described the fracas – which saw both benches square up to each other, forcing the game to be temporarily halted – as “handbags”.
But the FA have since charged the Owls boss and Oatway with “improper conduct” and gave them until 4pm today respond.
Jones has asked for a personal hearing.
“I will contest the charge. I will wait for the FA now I have asked for a personal hearing,” said Jones.
“I knew I would be charged, I just have to fight my corner now. If you get sent off, they normally do charge you. Basically, I think it’s wrong with what they have charged me with so I will fight that.”
The bust-up was sparked by the Brighton bench calling for Danny Pugh to be red carded after a second-half foul on Inigo Calderon. Earlier, Brighton had been reduced to 10 men when Ashley Barnes was sent off for a nasty tackle on Owls midfielder Kieran Lee.
A crowd of stewards and police tried to separate the two benches on the touchline, and Jones admitted the referee’s action in sending him and Oatway – the two main protagonists – to the stands helped defuse the situation.
“People just appeared from everywhere, I have never seen so many stewards,” said Jones.
“I said on the day I thought the referee defused it a little bit by doing what he did – which was probably the right decision.
“But that was only defusing it on the day, it doesn’t mean they have to continue it.
“That’s why I will be fighting it, putting my case towards the FA when they call me. The FA haven’t said anything to me yet, just charged me with misconduct.
“I am going to fight that misconduct charge. It will probably be a ban to the stand, which I don’t really want, and I don’t want a financial fine either. That’s why I am going to fight it, because I think they have got it wrong.
“If I thought they got it right I would just accept it. But what they have said, I just can’t accept.”
Asked if he had been involved in pushing Oatway, Jones replied: “When I get to speak to the hearing I will put my case.
“I don’t want to hinder that in any way, I have got a past history of knowing the law of the land,” added Jones, who was cleared in the High Court of false abuse allegations at a Merseyside children’s home in 2000.
“Basically, best say nothing ‘til I get there and then I can put my best case forward.
“I don’t see why I should be banned. There’s far worse things that have gone on in football and nothing’s happened.”
On the pitch, Wednesday have enjoyed a revival in the last two months, winning six, drawing two and losing just once in their last nine Championship games.
Tomorrow, they welcome Derby County to Hillsborough, but left-back Reda Johnson has been ruled out for the next fortnight after being ordered by a specialist in France to rest his injured ankle. Jones said: “It’s obviously a blow to lose Reda, we want all our big hitters around.”