Warnock answers for V-sign

CHRIS LAKEY A player's union official who learned his trade at Carrow Road will defend controversial manager Neil Warnock today on a charge of improper conduct towards Canaries boss Nigel Worthington.


A player's union official who learned his trade at Carrow Road will defend controversial manager Neil Warnock today on a charge of improper conduct towards Canaries boss Nigel Worthington.

Mick McGuire, who made more than 200 appearances for City, is now deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association and will argue the case for the Sheffield United manager when he appears before a disciplinary committee of the FA at their Soho Square HQ.

Warnock flashed a V-sign at Worthington and the Canaries bench after City had beaten the Blades 2-1 at Carrow on March 18 - an incident clearly caught by the TV cameras.

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He admitted a charge of improper conduct and requested a personal hearing - and will finally face the authorities exactly two months after the incident occurred.

It forms one half of a disciplinary double against Warnock, who will also answer a second charge of improper conduct arising from the match with Leeds United at Bramall Lane a month later, when he was sent from the dug-out following a late challenge by Gary Kelly on United defender Craig Short.

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Warnock had a heated exchange with Leeds' boss Kevin Blackwell before turning his attentions to fourth official Paul Robinson, who reported him to referee Graham Poll who, in turn, sent him to the stands.

But the matter didn't end there as a police officer intervened and ushered him down the tunnel.

It prompted another charge, another guilty plea and another request for a personal hearing.

The Norwich incident came seconds after the final whistle had blown on City's 2-1 win. Warnock flashed a V-sign towards Worthington and later claimed it was because City's former Sheffield Wednesday defender - a hate figure for Blades fans - ignored him and refused to shake his hand following the game.

Worthington described his opposite number's actions as “unprofessional and disrespectful”, although Warnock later declared himself confident that, once the FA had seen the evidence, the case would be thrown out - even though he went on to admit the charge of improper conduct.

McGuire will argue both cases today as he tries to prevent Warnock being consigned to the stands for United's first match back in the top flight since 1994.

Warnock escaped a touchline ban last season after admitting a charge of abusive and/or insulting language towards a match official after the 2-1 defeat by Reading in October. Warnock confronted Grant Hegley after the referee turned down a late penalty with Reading going on to score a last-minute winner. He was fined £750 and warned as to his future conduct.

McGuire was at Carrow Road from 1975 to 1983, during which time he took over from Joe Royle as union rep.

“I had been a union delegate since my time at Norwich,” he said. “Funnily enough I took over the role at Carrow Road from Joe Royle and I had become more and more interested and involved with the work of the PFA as the years went by.

“Luckily enough, I was offered a job by the union immediately my playing career came to an end.”

t Warnock is rated at just 8/13 to be sent to the stands at any stage of next season by one bookmaker.

Bet365 spokesman Steve Freeth said: “You can see Warnock getting under the skin of the likes of Mourinho, Wenger, Allardyce and Moyes in the Premiership and he could be a frequent visit to Soho Square next season.

“As a qualified ref, Warnock isn't slow in criticising the men in black and he already has 'previous' with Mark Clattenburg, Steve Bennett and especially Graham Poll, who have all dismissed Warnock for one reason or another over the years.”

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