Football: Bates vents anger over `disgusting' Fowler

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The Independent Online
CHELSEA'S CHAIRMAN, Ken Bates, has widened his attack on Liverpool in the war of words following Graeme Le Saux's clash with Robbie Fowler.

He has now criticised Michael Owen and David James, while describing Fowler's actions as a "sad commentary for the decline of a once-great team".

Bates had already attacked Fowler for allegedly baiting Le Saux with sexual comments which provoked the Chelsea full-back to elbow him in the head.

Now Bates has gone further in condemning "pretty unpleasant behaviour both on and off the pitch" by Liverpool players at Stamford Bridge last weekend.

He wrote in Thursday night's programme before Chelsea's Cup-Winners' Cup win over Valerenga: "Owen may be angel-faced but angel he isn't. James' childish behaviour was unnecessary, but Fowler's behaviour was quite frankly disgusting."

After reviewing video replays of the Liverpool game, the Football Association charged both Le Saux and Fowler with misconduct, but Bates feels, that the use of television evidence is "too hit and miss".

"I have said for nearly five years to the FA and I will say it again - we have a choice, either ignore all TV evidence, and if the referee doesn't see it, then that is the end of the matter.

"Alternatively, all videos of all matches should be viewed by a panel of respected senior retired referees on Sunday to Monday. With decisions being made by the same panel, there will at least be consistency in decisions."