Football: Jones charged by FA

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The Independent Online
VINNY JONES was yesterday charged by the Football Association with misconduct and bringing the game into disrepute for his part in a video which examines violence and cheating on the field.

The FA took this not unexpected step after a private viewing of Soccer's Hard Men, in which Jones discusses a variety of hard-tackling players. He has been called a 'mosquito brain' by his club chairman, Sam Hammam of Wimbledon, while Gordon Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, said that he was 'appalled'.

Jones, who played for Leeds, Sheffield United and Chelsea before his recent return to his first club, Wimbledon, has 14 days to reply to the charges and request a personal hearing. In deliberating whether to administer a heavy fine or suspension, the authorities will have a lengthy list of prior offences to consider, beginning in October 1987, when, two years after giving up his job as a hod-carrier to join Wimbledon for the first time, Jones was fined pounds 250 for allegedly threatening Kenny Dalglish that he intended 'to rip off his ear and spit in the hole'.

A reputation for unseemliness soon spread far and wide. To the man who was quickly dubbed 'Psycho', there was no such thing as a friendly. In August 1988, Jones was fined two weeks' wages and suspended for three games by the FA after being sent off for elbowing a village postman in a pre-season match on the Isle of Wight.

Goodison Park proved a difficult venue for Jones. In March 1988 he was sent off for kicking Everton's Peter Reid in the face as he lay on the ground. On his next appearance there the following year he was dismissed again, this time for an altercation with Kevin Ratcliffe.

In April 1989 Jones was fined pounds 500 for making obscene gestures towards Queen's Park Rangers players and he was twice charged by the FA last season, a skirmish with West Ham's Mitchell Thomas resulting in a one-match suspension, abusive gestures to Arsenal fans gleaning a pounds 1,500 fine. In all, Jones has been sent off on six occasions, most recently for swearing less than a fortnight ago. He begins a two-match ban this weekend.

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