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Rodgers Avoids Heavy Punishment

Though he'll have to pay a fine, Brendan Rodgers escaped any serious punishment for questioning Lee Mason's objectivity following Liverpool's Boxing Day loss to Manchester City.

Jan Kruger

When a wrongly disallowed goal and missed penalty call cost Liverpool points against Manchester City on Boxing Day, it wasn't a huge surprise to find Brendan Rodgers questioning the officiating. When the manager went beyond simply questioning the calls by casting Lee Mason's objectivity into doubt by suggesting that as a referee from the Greater Manchester area, though, it was hardly a surprise to find that the FA was investigating the case.

A charge of bringing the game into disrepute yesterday was quickly followed by news today that the FA would fine Rodgers £8000 for his comments following Liverpool's 2-1 loss at the City of Manchester stadium. Luckily for Rodgers, there's no touchline ban in store for the Liverpool manager—at least not this time—and though the fine would be hefty to most match attendees, for one of the world's highest paid managers it amounts to little more than a slap on the wrist.

"Brendan Rodgers has been fined £8,000 and warned as to his future conduct after he admitted an FA misconduct charge," read the FA's statement on the matter. "Rodgers was charged for a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his post-match comments following Liverpool’s game at Manchester City on 26 December 2013 constituted improper conduct in that they called into question the integrity of the match referee, and/or implied that the match referee was motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute; and/or amounted to a failure to act in the best interests of the game."

With Rodgers currently the 12th highest paid manager in the world making £3.25M a year, the fine is roughly equivalent to somebody earning £50k a year being given a hundred pound speeding ticket. As such it may serve as a warning for Rodgers in the future—especially if it came with a warning that any further public complaining could lead to harsher punishment and a ban—but as far as football fines go, it's almost inconsequentially small.

"In terms of geography, I wasn’t questioning the integrity of referees," Rodgers, who will not contest the charge or fine, later tried to explain. "It was more the logic of it in terms of having a referee from that part of the world refereeing a game in Manchester. I wouldn’t suspect that Mike Dean, from the Wirral, has refereed many games for Liverpool over the years."

In completely unrelated news, when it comes to football's highest paid managers, 4.5 Brendan Rodgers are roughly equal to one Pep Guardiola while 2.6 Rodgers equal one Jose Mourinho.

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