Breaking news this morning as the Football Association has charged both West Bromwich Albion and Spurs for "failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion" after their match at the Hawthornes on Saturday. The full text of the FA's release is reprinted below.
West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur have both been charged for failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.
The charge relates to an incident which occurred in or around the 84th minute of their fixture on Saturday 5 December 2015.
Both clubs have until 6pm on 11 December 2015 to respond to the charge.
The charges almost certainly stem from a late and dangerous tackle by West Brom player James McClean on Mousa Dembele in midfield, which took place in the 83rd minute. McClean went in two-footed and very late on a tackle on Dembele; match official Jonathan Moss initially waved play on, but McClean was eventually booked as Dembele writhed in agony on the pitch.
What's not immediately clear is what in the world Tottenham would be charged for in this incident. I went back and watched the match feed to see if there was anything I could see where Spurs players were being "disorderly." There's not much, at least on camera. Emotions ran high, but there wasn't any serious pushing, shoving, or anything that would indicate that Spurs did anything wrong. So maybe some Spurs players said some naughty words, or maybe something happened between the benches off-camera, but as of yet I haven't heard any reports to indicate this is the case.
Charging McClean after the fact would be a reasonable position for the FA to take, as it was a horror tackle and he should have been immediately red-carded. Heck, charging Jon Moss and his officiating team for botching a clear red card and losing control of the match would be an appropriate response. Seeing as how Spurs could have very easily had one of their players seriously injured, I don't think their on-pitch reaction was unreasonable, and in fact, seemed very calm and measured at the time.
Hopefully we'll find out some more details that would explain the rationale behind charging both clubs. Because hey, it's not like the FA has ever brought forth spurious and ridiculous charges against clubs based on stupid reasons that make sense only to them before, right?