Tyne-Wear rivals charged
Newcastle and Sunderland have been charged with misconduct by the Football Association after a stormy Tyne-Wear derby.
The charges relate to an incident which followed Black Cats winger James McClean's 19th-minute challenge on Magpies full-back Danny Simpson.
An FA statement said: "Newcastle United and Sunderland have both been charged with misconduct following the match between the two sides on Sunday, March 4, 2012."
The statement continued: "The charge is that the clubs failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour and is in relation to an incident which occurred in the 19th minute following a challenge by Sunderland's James McClean on Newcastle's Danny Simpson.
"Both clubs have until 4pm on March 12, 2012 to respond to the charge."
Simpson was unhappy with McClean's tackle at the Gallowgate End of the stadium and his reaction sparked a 21-man melee. Referee Mike Dean restored order and cautioned McClean and Simpson, but took no further action.
The incident was one of a series of flashpoints in an game which saw Mr Dean issue eight yellow cards and reds to Sunderland duo Lee Cattermole and Stephane Sessegnon.
There were repeated confrontations between the two benches, with Newcastle's goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman sent to the stands at half-time after clashing with Sunderland's fitness coach Jim Henry. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew also apologised for celebrating in front of the Black Cats' bench when his side was awarded an 82nd-minute penalty.
The war of words continued in the post-match press conferences with Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill suggesting a delegation from the home coaching staff had visited the referee's room, while Pardew accused the visitors of adopting an "ugly" approach.
O'Neill hit back on Tuesday, bringing forward a scheduled press conference with local newspaper and radio reporters to refute Pardew's claim.