Rooney appeal not frivolous - PFA
Professional Footballers' Association deputy chief executive Bramhall does not believe Rooney is at risk of having his two-match suspension lengthened by appealing against the punishment imposed for his four-letter tirade at Upton Park on Saturday. Knowing that Rooney will be free to face Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on April 16 if successful, Manchester United have decided to challenge the penalty after the player admitted his guilt. And such is the nature of the case, Bramhall is confident Rooney will not suffer any further penalty. "If he is unsuccessful in his appeal, the commission could look on the case as not being truly exceptional," said Bramhall. "But from my experience, the circumstances surrounding his case are unprecedented and therefore you would say it was truly exceptional." A three-man panel will assess the merits of United's submissions on Wednesday and, out of respect to the Old Trafford club's preparations for the clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, are not expected to make their conclusions public until Thursday. However, they will inform United leaving Sir Alex Ferguson to decide if Rooney should be told before kick-off. Ferguson will be pleased to discover the FA's intended course of action given his refusal to enter into any discussion of the matter in his pre-match press conference, held in the rather unusual surroundings of Lord's cricket ground. "I have nothing to say. I am not going to discuss it at all," he said. It is believed Rooney's argument centres around the swiftness of his apology, which came within hours of the final whistle, and a belief the 25-year-old is being too severely censured for comments that were not directed at anyone in particular. When Didier Drogba received a five-match ban from UEFA for expressing his displeasure into a TV camera after his side's Champions League semi-final defeat by Barcelona two years ago, it was clear his words were aimed at the referee. No such conclusion could be reached with Rooney. And the PFA feel a precedent is being set that could leave the FA open to a charge of hypocrisy if they failed to adopt a similarly tough stance in future. On the PFA's own website, it was claimed the charge would set a "dangerous precedent", with chairman Gordon Taylor adding: "Whilst the use of foul and abusive language is not condoned, there is an acceptance by all parties within the game that 'industrial language' is commonly used. "It becomes an issue when directed towards match officials. "However, when used in a spontaneous way in celebration or frustration then it is not normally expected to merit a sanction. "If sanctions are to be imposed in such circumstances then this has to be done in a balanced and consistent manner, and participants made aware of this fundamental change in approach."