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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
Read

Tevez fine reduced to two weeks

Manchester City have reluctantly accepted the Professional Footballers' Association decision to block Carlos Tevez's four-week fine for breach of contract - but believe the players' union operates under a conflict of interest.

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• Hughes slams Mancini over row

Without the PFA's sanction a two-week fine is the maximum which can be imposed. As City wished to fine Tevez double that amount they had to go to the players' body for approval, but the PFA on Thursday insisted that the player was not found guilty of refusing to play and as such only a two-week fine was acceptable.

The club's statement read: "Manchester City Football Club has received notification from the Players' Union (PFA) that it will not support a four-week fine as a penalty for the actions of misconduct of Carlos Tevez.

"The club acknowledges that the Players' Union is the sole organisation empowered with granting the ability for clubs to levy fines greater than the two weeks provided for in player contracts. However, Manchester City is disappointed by the apparent PFA conflict of interest evident in this process.

"Carlos Tevez has been personally represented throughout by the PFA Chief Executive, on whose considerations the Club has been informed that the PFA has made its decision.

"Manchester City has been in constant dialogue with the PFA since September 28. Today's PFA decision is a departure from the Club's understanding of that dialogue.

"Without recourse to the PFA decision available, the maximum two-week fine provided for in standard player contracts will now be applied in relation to the misconduct of Carlos Tevez."

PFA chief Gordon Taylor issued a statement that insists Tevez has been cleared. Taylor said: "If he had refused to play that would have been the charge and that would be gross misconduct. The charge was momentarily refusing to resume warming up. He never refused to play. He was desperate to play.

"They are trying to portray he refused to play, which is serious and why he was vilified. No evidence that they presented suggested that. If the evidence was strong and irrefutable, that's gross misconduct, as serious as it gets and could be a termination of contract.

"That's not the case. The evidence doesn't suggest that and that's why the charge was not of gross misconduct.''

It comes after the adverse publicity generated against Tevez when the club announced that he had been found guilty of five breaches of contract, implying that he had refused to play.

The PFA statement reads: "Gordon Taylor attended the hearing with Carlos Tevez on October 21 and was privy to all the evidence presented to the hearing and Carlos' response. The PFA's opinion, based on all the evidence presented, is that Carlos Tevez never refused to play for the club.

"This is accepted by the club in that the charge against Carlos made at the hearing was not one of refusing to play. As such the PFA considers that there is no justification for a fine other than up to the prescribed sanction of two weeks' wages agreed by the FA, the Premier League and PFA.

"The PFA has informed the Manchester City football club accordingly and Carlos will continue to be supported by the PFA in this regard."

Taylor this morning defended his and the PFA's position in the outcome of the saga, following the conflict of interest accusation from City.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: "It's not a conflict of interest at all. It's just merely pointing out what the law is, what the law says, and what the code of practice says. It's like a QC having to tell the judge that in accordance with the law you've got it wrong."

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