Chelsea hit with £10,000 fine over referee incident

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The Independent Football

Chelsea have been fined £10,000 by the Football Association after their players surrounded the referee Mark Halsey during the clash against West Bromwich last month.

The Premiership champions were found guilty of failing to control their players and also warned about their future conduct in games following a disciplinary hearing.

Jose Mourinho's side have been criticised for attempting to intimidate officials as they head towards back-to-back domestic titles. Against West Bromwich they encircled Halsey in the 43rd minute after a foul by Ronnie Wallwork on the Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele. Chelsea denied the charge at the hearing.

It was one of a number of incidents during Chelsea's 2-1 win. The Chelsea winger Arjen Robben was sent off for a foul on Jonathan Greening while Mourinho clashed on the sidelines with his Baggies counterpart, Bryan Robson. Chelsea face a similar charge of failing to control their players during a game against Fulham on 19 March. That case will be heard separately.

Elsewhere, Newcastle's caretaker manager, Glenn Roeder, will let Michael Owen decide how big a part he will play in the Premiership game at Birmingham City tomorrow.

The England international has returned to full training after recovering from a fractured metatarsal. However, with two games of the season remaining before he heads off on World Cup duty, the player himself will dictate how his comeback is handled.

"We will see how training goes on Thursday and Friday," Roeder said. "If it goes as well as Monday and Tuesday went, he will be mightily close to being able to start a game. I will sit down and talk with him and he has to be a main driver in the decision."