Many Leeds United fans have been left fuming on social media after the Yorkshire Evening Post shared the Football Association’s written reasons behind Victor Orta’s suspension.
Our Director of Football was issued a one-game suspension and fined £2,000 after confronting match officials in the tunnel at half-time during January’s 3-2 win over Millwall.
Orta is said to have accused referee Darren England of ‘messing with a lot of people’s lives and families’, while the South Yorkshire resident noted in his match report that the United chief had to be restrained by stewards.
“At half-time, after we left the field of play and walking up the tunnel … Victor Orta had to be physically restrained by tunnel stewards as he was attempting to get to me and my colleagues,” England wrote in his report.
“Along with this, he was heard shouting ‘you love messing with people’s lives and families’, which again was aimed at us.”
The FA report adds that England altered his report later on to rephrase what Orta had shouted, to then read as: “You’re messing with peoples’ lives and families.”
Orta apologised for any upset caused by his actions in a written letter and admitted to the charge at the first opportunity, while the club’s Head of Communications James Mooney was also issued a one-game ban and a fine of £700 after disputing one of England’s decisions.
Did Orta deserve a one-game ban for his actions?
“Just before the second half, as we were walking up the tunnel about to enter the field of play … James Mooney tried to show me his phone to show us that in his opinion the ball was out of play before I awarded a penalty to Millwall in the 22nd-minute of the game,” England claimed in his report.
Like Orta, Mooney apologised for his actions and accepted that he had acted ‘foolishly and unprofessionally’ but denied showing any aggression toward the officials.
Despite Orta and Mooney’s apologies, United Chief Executive Angus Kinnear was ‘bemused’ by the FA taking action.
“It is important to put on the record that in neither incident was there any aggression, inappropriate language or an attempt to influence the referee,” he said.
“Accordingly we were (once again when it comes to the FA’s disciplinary policy) bemused that either incident amounted to a charge. Especially when tunnels at half-time across the country regularly host much more colourful and fractious exchanges with match officials that are routinely ignored by the authorities.”
Here are some of the messages shared as fans reacted to the FA’s reasons behind Orta and Mooney’s suspensions…
And the answers to the 17 questions asked by the club on their abysmal performance????
— and then I saw his face……now I’m a bielsa!! (@spesh55) February 17, 2020
Utterly ridiculous. As Kinnear has pointed out, far worse happens every week, including referees being confronted by irate managers on the pitch after games #whyus
— Bielsa Bubb 💙💛 (@bellhouse_mike) February 17, 2020
It’s probably the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen. Their actions are totally understandable.
— Matty 🎮 (@mattyleeds18) February 17, 2020
Darren England! incompetent, vindictive, rat. FA happy to facilitate this level of ineptitude.
— Graham (@Charley11111111) February 17, 2020
Let’s see the report for a dreadful refereeing performance. What’s the come back from that ? Biased and poor officiating for the entire game
— Dom (@dommer14) February 17, 2020
Did the FA have anything to say about the 17 incidents where England did his impression of Stevie Wonder? #lufc
— Andy Leatham (@leedswhiterose) February 17, 2020
Spot on from Orta. The decisions were diabolical to the point where you’d question the referee’s agenda. The fact that he had to amend the wording in his report says a lot. He couldn’t stop looking at linesman when Bamford scored first goal, waiting for a flag.
— CMCM (@cmcm52irfc) February 17, 2020
There were 6, possibly 7 Millwall playing him inside and you’re right, he was looking for a reason. Absolute cheat imo.
— LJ 💛💙 (@LloydBJones) February 17, 2020
In other Leeds United news, Director of Football Victor Orta has been condemned for targeting the wrong player during the January window.