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Arsenal and Birmingham charged after spectators encroach pitches

Arsenal and Birmingham charged after spectators encroach pitches
© Reuters
The clubs have been charged following ugly incidents on Sunday.

Arsenal and Birmingham have both been charged by the Football Association in connection with incidents which saw spectators run onto the pitch.

The Gunners and Blues have both been accused of failing to ensure fans could not encroach onto the pitch, while the Championship club have also been charged with failing to ensure that a spectator "refrained from improper or violent conduct" after Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish was punched.

Announcing the Arsenal charge, an FA spokesperson said: "Arsenal has been charged with breaches of FA Rule E20 (a) and (b).

"It is alleged the club failed to ensure that its spectator(s) conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from encroaching onto the pitch during the Premier League fixture against Manchester United on Sunday, March 10.

"They have until March 22 to respond."

A 30-year-old man has been charged with common assault and bailed to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on March 26 in connection with an incident at the Emirates Stadium.

He is alleged to have made contact with Manchester United defender Chris Smalling during the Gunners' 2-0 Premier League victory.

Birmingham have been charged after Villa's Grealish was attacked from behind by a spectator during their 1-0 win at St Andrew's, also on Sunday.

An FA spokesperson said: "Birmingham has been charged with breaches of FA Rule E20 (a) and (b).

"It is alleged the club failed to ensure that its spectator(s) conducted themselves in an orderly fashion; refrained from improper or violent conduct and refrained from encroaching onto the pitch during the Championship fixture against Aston Villa on Sunday, March 10.

"They have until March 22 to respond."

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was attacked by a fan during his side's derby at Birmingham
Aston Villa's Jack Grealish was attacked by a spectator during his side's derby at Birmingham (Nick Potts/PA)

Paul Mitchell, 27, of Rubery, Worcestershire, was jailed for 14 weeks and banned from attending football matches for 10 years after pleading guilty to assault earlier this week.

Meanwhile, both Birmingham and Villa were earlier hit with a charge of failing to control their players following a fifth-minute bust-up during a high-octane game.

Tempers flared after Grealish was was caught by a rash challenge from Maikel Kieftenbeld.

An FA spokesperson said the club had "failed to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion during the fifth minute of the fixture".

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool88002061424
2Manchester CityMan City85122791816
3Arsenal84311311215
4Leicester CityLeicester8422147714
5Chelsea84221814414
6Crystal Palace842288014
7Burnley8332119212
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham83321111012
9Tottenham HotspurSpurs83231412211
10Bournemouth83231313011
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves82421111010
12Manchester UnitedMan Utd82339819
13Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd82337709
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton8233810-29
15Aston Villa8224131218
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle8224513-88
17Southampton8215815-77
18Everton8215613-77
19Norwich CityNorwich82061021-116
20Watford8035420-163

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