It is now 93 days since the alleged incident which eventually saw Jonjo Shelvey put on a misconduct charge by The FA, with the hearing and decision expected within the coming hours/days.
It looks like the actual date/timing has been kept secret to prevent an even bigger circus building up before the hearing, though the media have widely reported it as fact that The FA will hear the case in this match-free (for Newcastle and Wolves) week leading up to Christmas.
That actual Newcastle v Wolves match on 17 September 2016 saw a game that passed without much controversy, apart from the fact that it was a surprise home defeat for United.
Over seven weeks later (8 Nov – see below), The FA out of the blue (at least for fans anyway, as it was claimed behind closed doors discussions had been ongoing since the day of the alleged incident) formally charged Jonjo Shelvey.
Last week the Chronicle said that their information was that despite Newcastle United still believing Jonjo Shelvey was innocent, the club are resigned to having little hope of winning.
However, Rafa Benitez is hoping everything will turn out ok:
“We know that he (Jonjo Shelvey) has the quality, hopefully everything will be OK.
“If you could see him (in private/with the squad), he has got a lot of friends around him.
“Hopefully the situation will be fine and we can carry on playing football, that’s what he has to do.”
The fact that behind the scenes talks between the parties had gone on for so long and that the charge was still made, would certainly not make you feel optimistic.
A five game ban has been widely reported as the likely punishment IF Jonjo Shelvey is found guilty. If this was the case he would be set to miss Sheff Wed (H), Forest (H), Blackburn (A), the third round of the FA Cup against Birmingham and either Brentford (A) or a third round FA Cup replay.
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.’