'They just want robot managers' – Warnock questions FA following fine

The Cardiff boss questioned the process that led to his £20,000 fine and accused the Football Association of taking the humour out of the game

Neil Warnock accused the Football Association (FA) of wanting “robot managers” and claimed double standards led to him being fined £20,000 for comments about refereeing standards in the Premier League.

The Cardiff City boss described officials working in the top tier as “the worst” in the world following his side’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea on March 31.

Warnock was aggrieved that Cesar Azpilicueta’s 84th-minute equaliser was allowed to stand, despite the scorer clearly being in an offside position, and he argued that two big penalty shouts for the Bluebirds were also rejected by referee Craig Pawson.

He was charged with three offences relating to comments made to broadcasters and, after requesting a personal hearing this week, all three charges were upheld by the FA.

Despite feeling aggrieved with the decision, claiming that some of his peers have escaped punishment when making similar remarks this season, Warnock has begrudgingly accepted his punishment. 
“There’s no point in taking it any further. I have to take it on the chin,” he told the media on Friday.

“I’m disappointed in the first two charges. I didn’t think they warranted being proven guilty, not when we showed them an article what [Chelsea head coach Maurizio] Sarri had said about referees less than three weeks ago and he never got a charge.

“When you get an institute like the FA, as big as it is, I find it disappointing that they’re allowed to bring in an outside barrister to prove the case against me.

“He had all the information on what my arguments are three to four weeks before and [time to] get his head around it. It’s a bit out of order if I’m honest.

“They just want robot managers; the humour has gone out of the game.”

Cardiff have lost four of their last five matches since the defeat to Chelsea and now require victories in their final two matches, at home to Crystal Palace and away to Manchester United, if they are to have any hope of avoiding a return to the Championship.

Trailing Brighton by four points for safety, Cardiff must also hope the Seagulls take less than two points in their final pair of games, against Arsenal and Manchester City. 

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