Gregory's 28-day ban

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The Independent Online

John Gregory has been given a 28-day touchline ban by the Football Association for his verbal attacks on the fourth official Andy D'Urso during the Premiership match at Leicester City in September.

John Gregory has been given a 28-day touchline ban by the Football Association for his verbal attacks on the fourth official Andy D'Urso during the Premiership match at Leicester City in September.

The Aston Villa manager will be barred from the dug-out for four weeks from 13 December for remarks he made towards D'Urso during the match, which Leicester won 3-1.

Gregory, who is fighting to save his job after a series of poor results, was reported to have said to D'Urso that he would "punch his lights out". A three-man disciplinary commission also fined him £5,000 and he has been ordered to sign a written undertaking as regards his future conduct.

Gregory, who did not contest the misconduct charge after consulting the League Managers' Association Chief Executive John Barnwell, has constantly criticised officials this season, and this is the second time he has been in trouble with Lancaster Gate. He has already been fined £2,000 for remarks to referee Uriah Rennie, which were reported by another fourth official, Jeff Winter, on the opening day of the season at Newcastle.

Gregory lost an appeal against that fine, and after the hearing he then accused fourth officials of being "jobsworths" and referees of "acting like policemen."

The FA's media relations manager, Steve Double, said of the latest offence: "It was his second misconduct charge of the season involving comments towards match officials. The commission took a serious view of things."

The agent Mark Curtis has been cleared of offering the teenager Jermaine Pennant a £30,000 bung to join Arsenal after an FA enquiry. But Curtis - who could have lost his licence if found guilty - will have to pay £7,500 in fines for two lesser offences after the investigation ended last night.

Curtis was found not guilty of the charge of tempting Pennant with two "back-handers" to sign for him and then join the Gunners. Those charges would have meant a ban and Curtis losing his £100,000 Fifa licence bond.

However, Curtis was fined £5,000 for giving £1,000 to Pennant's father, Gary, after the conclusion of the England schoolboy international's move from Notts County. Curtis claimed the money was an advance on a boot deal with Nike and not related to the controversial transfer.

The agent was also fined £2,500 for attempting to represent Pennant when he already had an agent, Skylet Andrew. Curtis was unaware that Pennant had a contract with Andrew but the FA still fined him. Arsenal and Andrew had been cleared by an earlier investigation.

Curtis was questioned for two days, with a handful of witnesses called from both clubs and the boot company. Curtis said last night: "I am just pleased my integrity has been cleared over the bung allegations."

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