Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers fined for Manchester City ref comments
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has been fined £8,000 and given a warning about his conduct for his criticism of referee Lee Mason.
Rodgers admitted an FA misconduct charge for his comments after his side's 2-1 defeat to Manchester City; he said the match should not have been refereed by an official from Greater Manchester – Mason is from Bolton.
An FA independent regulatory commission imposed the sanction and warned Rodgers as to his future conduct.
Rodgers said after the City match: "Hopefully we don't have a Greater Manchester referee again for the Liverpool v Manchester City game. I'm sure we won't get somebody from the Wirral."
He later sought to clarify his remarks, saying: "I was talking in terms of geography and I certainly wasn't questioning the integrity of referees. I wouldn't suspect that Mike Dean, from the Wirral, has refereed many games for Liverpool over the years."
An FA statement read: "Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been fined £8,000 and warned as to his future conduct.
"Rodgers was charged for a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his post-match comments following Liverpool's game at Manchester City on 26 December, 2013 constituted improper conduct in that they called into question the integrity of the match referee, and/or implied that the match referee was motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute; and/or amounted to a failure to act in the best interests of the game."