Stunning reports in the Sunday newspapers that Premier League leaders Chelsea, could be docked points in the aftermath of last weekend’s Battle of the Etihad.
Chelsea and Manchester City were both charged by the FA with failing to control their players after the showpiece top-of-the-table clash erupted in a mass brawl following Sergio Aguero’s X-rated challenge on Blues’ defender David Luiz.
Aguero and City midfielder Fernandinho were sent off after a bust-up involving all 22 players, several substitutes and even members of both clubs’ coaching staff.
The issue for Antonio Conte’s side is that this is the FIFTH time in 19 months that Chelsea have been hauled in front of disciplinary chiefs for breaching FA Rule E20 covering the behaviour of players.
The Londoners were found guilty and hit with fines on the four previous occasions.
A warning about the future conduct of their players was put in writing to Chelsea when they appealed against a fine imposed for their part in last season’s ill-tempered London derby with Tottenham.
The independent commission at the time made it clear to Chelsea that a points deduction had been considered and that they could be be docked points if their players continued to misbehave en-masse.
It read: “The Board is satisfied the greater fine on Chelsea fairly reflects its role in the incident and its lamentable recent record for failing properly to control its players.
“The time cannot be too far distant when a Commission concludes the only proper sanction is a points deduction.”
No top-flight club has been docked points for disciplinary problems since Manchester United and Arsenal were both controversially punished for a mass brawl when they met at Old Trafford in October 1990.
Arsenal, who won the game 1-0, had two points deducted because they had been involved in a similar fracas at Norwich the previous year, while United were docked one point.
According to media reports, it is understood that Chelsea are aware of the threat of a points deduction and have asked the FA for a personal hearing.
Do you really think that the FA would deduct points from Chelsea, something that could well determine the Premier League title at the end of the season.