Roeder and Clark in guilty plea

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 10 September 2010

Chris Lakey

Canaries management team Glenn Roeder and Lee Clark have avoided a potentially crucial touchline ban as City's season reaches a nerve-jangling finale.

Roeder and Clark are in hot water after a run-in with referee Andy D'Urso in the closing moments of the 2-1 defeat at Bristol City last month.

Canaries management team Glenn Roeder and Lee Clark have avoided a potentially crucial touchline ban as City's season reaches a nerve-jangling finale.

Roeder and Clark are in hot water after a run-in with referee Andy D'Urso in the closing moments of the 2-1 defeat at Bristol City last month.

Both were hit with improper conduct charges for their actions - and the FA confirmed hours before yesterday's deadline for a response had arrived, that the pair would plead guilty.

However, they have both asked for a personal hearing - and that means that no action will be taken against them until the season is over.

“They have both admitted the charges and requested personal hearings,” said an FA spokesman. “We will look to schedule these in due course, but it will take some time.”

The plea, and the request to put across their mitigating circumstances, means that Roeder and Clark are free to direct operations from the touchline for the home game against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday and the trip to Sheffield Wednesday eight days later.

And that could prove crucial as the Canaries attempt to negotiate their way out of an end-of-season dilemma which has seen them slip to within three points of the relegation zone.

While Roeder starts games from a seat in the stands, overlooking the halfway line, he invariably finds his way to the touchline to accompany Clark, who spends the whole match prowling the technical area.

It was from there that the pair were embroiled in furious arguments with D'Urso as the match at Ashton Gate reached a stunning finale. Roeder and Clark were incensed after a free-kick for handball was incorrectly awarded against Norwich's Lee Croft, when it was clear that home player Jamie McCombe had committed the offence.

Roeder claimed fourth official Danny Roberts had said D'Urso had got his decision wrong - but from the free-kick Steve Brooker scored with almost the last touch of the game to leave Roeder and Clark fuming.

Clart appeared to be sent from the touchline while Roeder stormed on to the pitch at the final whistle to remonstrate with D'Urso and followed the officials as they left the field.

“I have never ever, in all my life, remonstrated with a referee straight after a game by walking on to the pitch,” said Roeder at the time.

“I am not pleased with myself, I am not pleased with myself at all, but that was how strong I felt about D'Urso's performance, particularly the incident that led to their winning goal.”

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