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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

Tactics & Analysis
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 By Mike Whalley

Brendan Rodgers accepts FA charge

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has accepted a charge from the Football Association over critical comments he made about referee Lee Mason.

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Rodgers described Mason’s performance as “horrendous” after the 2-1 Premier League defeat at Manchester City on Dec. 26.

He also suggested that Mason should not have been assigned the match, suggesting that his Bolton home was too close to the City of Manchester Stadium.

The FA decided that Rodgers’ comments breached rule E3 (1), which governs any remarks that question a referee’s integrity or imply bias, and charged him last Friday.

Rodgers had until 18.00 GMT on Wednesday to respond to the charge, and sources have told ESPN that he has decided to accept it. He is likely to be fined following a short hearing, which he will not attend.

The Liverpool boss was angry that Raheem Sterling had a first-half goal wrongly ruled out for offside, and also believed Luis Suarez should have had a late penalty.

And in his postmatch news conference, Rodgers pointed to the fact that Mason is from Bolton, a part of Greater Manchester.

Rodgers said at the time: “I was surprised we were playing in Manchester and have a referee from Greater Manchester. I am sure we won’t get Liverpool-Manchester City [refereed by] someone from the Wirral.”

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