Punishment remains unclear after seven-hour Ince hearing

Blackpool's Paul Ince
Blackpool's Paul Ince
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Paul Ince’s punishment remained unclear after an FA hearing which lasted almost seven hours at Wembley yesterday.

The Blackpool manager faced a three-man panel at the national stadium, having pleaded guilty to three charges relating to incidents after the win at Bournemouth on September 14.

Ince was sent to the stands for throwing a water bottle in frustration, but it’s an incident in the tunnel involving match officials after the game which has resulted in the charges.

The charges are that Ince used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official; his behaviour towards a match official constituted violent conduct; and he used threatening words and/or behaviour towards a match official.

Assistant manager Rae has also been charged with an alleged use of threatening behaviour towards a match official in or around the tunnel at the end of the same game.

And having been locked in the hearing all day, the Seasiders duo have been made aware of the panel’s findings.

Ince and Rae were represented by a barrister and were joined by club secretary Matt Williams and a representative of the League Managers’ Association.

The FA are expected to announce the pair’s punishment this afternoon and would not comment last night. Rae pleaded not guilty and was hopeful of a positive result, whereas Ince’s charges are far more serious and could result in a stadium ban of up to six matches, preventing him attending Seasiders games.

His team have not won in five matches since the charges were brought. The FA, Blackpool FC and Ince himself are all expected to make statements today.

Ince is completing his coaching badges this week and isn’t expected back at Bloomfield Road until Thursday at the earliest.