EXCLUSIVE: Reds face FA charge

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BARNSLEY FC have been charged by the Football Association for “improper conduct” following complaints levelled against a referee.

The charge relates to comments the club’s press officer, Rob Knowles, made about official Peter Quinn in the clash at Hull City on January 15.

Comments on the club’s website called into question the integrity of Cleveland ref Quinn.

Quinn awarded a controversial penalty to Hull and sent off defender Stephen Foster, before also dismissing Reds skipper and fellow centre-back Jason Shackell in the 90th minute. Hull won 2-0.

The comments attributed to Knowles, club press officer for a decade, have since been removed from the website and he is believed to have not been at work this week pending the outcome of the charge. Reds director Don Rowing confirmed the club had been charged and have sent an official response to the FA.

Rowing said: “We have responded in a positive manner and we’re waiting to hear back from the FA.

“There were a few adjectives used in the match report which called into question the integrity of the referee and these were subsequently removed.

“We were given a 24-hour extension to respond to the FA - and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve just got to wait now and see what happens.”

It is believed the FA will reply next week with their ruling on the matter. If found guilty, the club face a hefty fine.

The FA say Barnsley are charged with “improper conduct due to comments which call into question integrity of the match official or officials and/or imply bias on the part of the match official or officials and/or bring the game into disrepute”. Knowles was unavailable for comment.

The affair is an unwelcome distraction as 13th-placed Barnsley attempt to move up the table.