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Chelsea tell disciplinary panel the 'culture of the club' has changed

Chelsea told a disciplinary committee that "the culture of the club" had changed under Antonio Conte before being fined £100,000 for their part in the fracas at the end of last month's win at Manchester City.

The Premier League leaders, who won 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium, received a greater punishment than City, who were fined £35,000, despite an independent regulatory commission finding the parties to be "equally culpable".

The written reasons for the sanctions, published by the Football Association on Thursday, showed that both clubs admitted breaching the misconduct rule which governs controlling players and staff.

Six prior offences dating back to 2011 - and five since February 2015 - were considered before Chelsea's sanction was determined.

Mr Jim Sturman QC, representing Chelsea, "accepted that the club would be punished more severally based on their previous record," the written reasons said.

"This could not be disputed but he submitted that the culture of the club had changed under the new manager," the written reasons added.

Chelsea were fined £290,000 following May's rule breach and the prior offences referred to totalled £495,000. City had a previously "unblemished" record.

"The regulatory commission also took into account when making its decision that this was the seventh incident of this nature involving Chelsea FC," the written reasons said.

"The commission considered this a extremely aggravating factor which was reflected with an increase in their financial penalty."

Chelsea were warned following the Tottenham fracas that points could be docked if players continued to misbehave en-masse.

But they avoided that sanction after the latest indiscretion - their third in the calendar year - which occurred after City striker Sergio Aguero poleaxed Chelsea defender David Luiz with a late, high challenge in the fifth minute of stoppage time on December 3. The Argentina striker was then pushed by Chelsea's Nathaniel Chalobah.

Aguero was sent off for the tackle and team-mate Fernandinho followed shortly afterwards after grabbing Cesc Fabregas by the neck and pushing him over an advertising board. Fabregas escaped any sanction despite appearing to slap Fernandinho, inciting the Brazilian.

The cause of the fracas was debated before the panel agreed by majority that it was Aguero's challenge which has left Luiz wearing heavy strapping on his right knee since.

"The majority decision was that whilst the Nathaniel Chalobah push was the catalyst for the escalation, the nature of the tackle was the principle instigator," the written reasons said.

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