FA charges O'Leary over derby celebration

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The Independent Football

David O'Leary, the Aston Villa manager, has been charged by the Football Association with using abusive and/or insulting words towards the referee Graham Poll.

The charge relates to his conduct towards Poll after the final whistle of the match at Birmingham on Sunday, 16 October. He has until the start of November to respond to the charge.

He has also been reminded of his responsibilities in relation to his celebrations, after he marked Villa's first Premiership win over the Blues in seven attempts by charging across the field to salute the Villa chairman, Doug Ellis.

O'Leary felt there was nothing wrong with his actions at the end of the game when he stood on the pitch, in front of the directors' box, with a clenched fist.

He said: "There were people like the chairman, who has taken a lot of stick this week, and been very ill, [the operations director] Steve Stride and other people who have been good to work with - I could see the smiles on their faces and I was pleased for them.

"Was I putting myself in danger? Since I've come to this town I've been treated very well by Birmingham fans. If I felt any danger I wouldn't have been over there because I'm the biggest coward in the world!"

The Crystal Palace chairman, Simon Jordan, has denied a charge of improper conduct by the Football Association and requested a personal hearing.

The charge relates to a Sunday newspaper article by Jordan on 18 September, in which he criticised the display of the referee, Bryan Curson, during the Eagles' 3-2 defeat at Reading.

Jordan also claimed that the standard of refereeing was in decline. He was consequently charged by the FA and given until 20 October to respond.

Jordan says he will present evidence for his case in front of an FA commission on a date yet to be decided.