FA issues fines after Everton brawl at Fulham

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The Football Association has fined Fulham and Everton following their mass brawl at Craven Cottage on 8 December.

The mélêe was sparked by a late tackle by Luis Boa Morte on the Everton captain, David Weir. Both players were sent off, although Boa Morte later had his red card for an alleged bite rescinded on appeal.

Everton were fined £25,000 after their charge of failing to control players was reduced to the lesser offence of disorderly conduct, while Fulham were hit with a £30,000 penalty and warned about their future misconduct.

Paul Gascoigne has been told that he will remain an Everton player until the end of the season as the Merseysiders plot their escape route from another relegation struggle.

The former England midfielder has been the subject of more than a dozen enquiries about his availability – with First Division Burnley confirming their interest – but the Everton manager, Walter Smith, said: "Paul is staying put. We have had a few enquiries about his position recently, but it has been agreed between Paul and myself that he will remain at Everton until the end of the season. We will talk about his future then."

The FA has confirmed that it will be taking no action against the Leeds chairman, Peter Ridsdale, following his decision to confront angry fans in the wake of Sunday's goalless draw at Everton.

Leeds supporters rounded on their head coach, Brian Kidd, during the match, with the majority chanting derogatory songs aimed at the 52-year-old. Ridsdale left the directors' box after the final whistle and walked around the perimeter of the pitch to speak to the fans.

Merseyside police were not impressed and although no action was taken, Ridsdale was reported to the FA, with chief superintendent Dave Willman claiming his decision to speak to supporters was "ill-advised". Ridsdale subsequently apologised to the police, and as far as the FA are concerned the matter is closed as they are satisfied his actions were intended to calm rather than provoke.

Dagenham & Redbridge will become the first Football League club to operate on a part-time basis if, as expected, they win promotion from the Nationwide Conference this season. They believe the plan could set a trend, with financially strapped lower division clubs eventually following suit.

"Four or five of our players don't have any other job, through their own choice, but others have good jobs they might not want to give up," said the club secretary, Derek Almond. "It's certainly not our intention that everyone should go full-time. We'll consider each player's position on its own merits. Perhaps a few other clubs will go the same way."

Some half-dozen Conference teams now have full-time players, but the Daggers are not among them. They would budget for gates of 2,500 if they won a place in the Football League, which seems likely as they are six points clear at the top.

Portsmouth's Japanese goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi is heading back home following a troubled spell at Fratton Park.

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