Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Football League

FA reveals Paul Ince's foul-mouthed assault on official


Evidence from a Football Association hearing has revealed that the Blackpool manager, Paul Ince, was handed a five-match stadium ban after shouting, "I'll knock you f****** out you c***" and violently shoving the fourth official.

The former England captain is now forbidden from entering any stadium where Blackpool are due to play on a match day – starting with their home game with Wigan on Saturday – after an independent three-man commission including former Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt ruled he breached three rules during the Seasiders' 2-1 win over Bournemouth last month.

Ince was sent to the stands after throwing a bottle which hit a female spectator and his irate reaction after the final whistle was reported to the FA. The governing body has since disclosed the full extent of Ince's actions, revealing that he physically assaulted fourth official Mark Pottage while using a series of expletives.

In the report, referee Oliver Langford said: "At the end of the game, as we left the field of play as a team of match officials, we were confronted by a clearly very irate Mr Paul Ince.

"On confronting us Mr Ince asked why he had been sent to the stand. I explained to Mr Ince the reason why he had politely been asked to leave the technical area. It was then a clearly frustrated Mr Ince had said 'and where's your busy fucker of a fourth?'. Mark Pottage, the fourth official, was stood behind Mr Ince at the time and said 'I'm here'.

"Mr Ince then turned around and violently shoved Mr Pottage with two hands into the chest. Stewards then quickly stepped in and tried to usher Mr Ince to the dressing room area.

"As this occurred Mr Ince, being restrained by stewards and players of Blackpool, was repeatedly shouting in an aggressive manner 'I'll knock you fucking out you cunt' to Mr Pottage."

Langford added that "Mr Ince's eyes were bulging" as he squared up to Pottage. Ince's assistant manager, Alex Rae, was also involved in the mêlée, with Pottage – who provided his own evidence – noting he had to move to avoid contact with Rae's forehead.

Giving his own evidence Ince, who denied using the word "c***", said: "As I turned around, Mr Pottage stepped forward and was 'fronting me up' in my face. I felt intimidated, so I instinctively pushed him away.

"The push was not aggressive; only enough to move him away from where I was, only in order to avoid a real possibility of a one-to-one confrontation, however, I know I should not have pushed him and I wholeheartedly apologise."

The FA found all three breaches of the Rule E3 were proven and imposed the five-match stadium ban on Ince as a result. The former Manchester United midfielder was also fined £4,000. The latest incident takes his tally of discretions since becoming a manager in 2006 to six.

Ince was given a three-match touchline ban in August and warned about his future conduct after questioning the integrity of the match referee in the Capital One Cup tie with Preston.

He will now also miss Blackpool's Championship fixtures with Blackburn Rovers, Nottingham Forest, Ipswich Town and Birmingham City.

In the dock: Ince's crime sheet

1995 Charged with common assault on a Crystal Palace supporter after Eric Cantona's 'kung fu' attack at Selhurst Park. The Manchester United midfielder was later acquitted.

1998 Charged with misconduct by the Football Association for making a 'V-sign' after receiving a red card playing for England in a Euro qualifier in Sweden.

2000 Appears before FA accused of insulting referee at Derby.

2009 Banned for two matches and fined £2,000 after admitting charge of improper conduct. Fined £500 three months later over another breach of the same rule.

2010 Receives five-match touchline ban and fined £5,000 after partially admitting using abusive and/or insulting words.

2011 Admitted charge of improper conduct, ordered to pay £2,000 and banned for one match.

2013 Warned over future conduct and fined £3,000 for improper conduct after comments made to media after Blackpool's Capital One Cup defeat at Preston.