The Jonjo Shelvey case has come to its inevitable conclusion.
After protracted talks behind the scenes, the Newcastle midfielder was eventually charged with misconduct some two months after an alleged incident during NUFC’s defeat to Wolves on 17 September 2016.
From that point on, after private discussions had failed to bring the matter to an end, I thought there was only going to be one outcome.
Jonjo Shelvey was found guilty earlier this week and though the club/player said they were going to think about an appeal, surely we all knew that was never going to happen.
Sure enough, Jonjo Shelvey and the club have now officially confirmed that there will not be an appeal, although they/he maintain the player’s innocence.
In any case like this, when it comes down to two parties arguing over who said what, you’re never going to have a certain outcome – unless an official has heard what went on.
It is never a good thing when your club is dragged into something like this and just like most previous examples, the majority of the club’s (in this case, Newcastle United) fans will give Shelvey the benefit of the doubt, whilst pretty much all neutrals/outsiders will just take the guilty verdict as read.
From a purely football point of view, we are now going to find out how Rafa Benitez will set up his team without Jonjo Shelvey.
The player is now set to miss Sheffield Wednesday (H), Forest (H), Blackburn (A), Birmingham (A – Fa Cup 3rd Round) and Brentford (although if either Newcastle or Brentford have a 3rd round replay, this match will be rescheduled).
Official Newcastle United Statement 22 December 2016:
STATEMENT – JONJO SHELVEY
Jonjo Shelvey has today taken the decision not to lodge an appeal against an FA misconduct charge which was found proven by the Regulatory Commission earlier this week. The player will now serve a five-match suspension.
Speaking of the verdict and his decision, Jonjo said:
“I am very disappointed and frustrated with the outcome of the hearing. I strongly maintain that I did not use the offensive language that has been alleged.
“Despite my strong disappointment, we think an appeal is very unlikely to change the panel’s decision on the case, so I have decided not to take that option.
“Appealing the ban would also extend the period of uncertainty for the club and the team during such an important part of the season.
“This would not be fair on my club, manager or teammates and I want to draw a line under this now so that I can return to help my team with our promotion challenge as soon as possible.“
Manager Rafa Benitez said:
“Jonjo has maintained his position from the outset and as such has received our full support. Despite this issue going on in the background he has continued to train and play really well.
“Now he has made the decision not to appeal the verdict we can focus on the upcoming games without uncertainty and distraction.”
Newcastle United does not tolerate any form of discrimination or abuse and condemns the use of racist, sexist or homophobic remarks in the strongest possible terms.
The club will not be making any further comment.’
Official FA Statement on Jonjo Shelvey 20 December 2016:
‘Jonjo Shelvey has been given a five-match suspension and £100,000 fine after an FA misconduct charge against him was found proven.
The Newcastle United player was charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent in the 87th minute of the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 17 September 2016.
It was further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.
The player, who denied the charge at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, was also ordered to attend an FA education course.
The sanction has been set aside pending consideration for an appeal. Any appeal must be lodged within seven days from receipt of written reasons which will be produced in due course.’
Official Newcastle United Statement on Jonjo Shelvey response – Wednesday 16 November:
‘Newcastle United can confirm that Jonjo Shelvey has today pleaded not guilty to an FA charge of misconduct in relation to an alleged incident during Newcastle United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, 17 September.
The player has requested a personal hearing with the FA regarding this matter. The club will be making no further comment until the matter has been concluded.’
The Official FA Statement/Charge on Tuesday 8 November:
‘Jonjo Shelvey has been charged for misconduct in relation to Newcastle United’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 17 September 2016.
It is alleged that in or around the 87th minute of the fixture, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards an opponent.
It is further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) is an “Aggravated Breach” as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.
The player has until 16 November 2016 to respond to the charge.’