Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has slammed the A-League's player suspension system and is threatening legal action if the two-week ban handed to Jacob Burns is not reviewed.
Glory skipper Burns was contentiously suspended after an off-the-ball clash with Central Coast counterpart John Hutchinson during the Mariners' 2-1 win at nib Stadium.
Burns was charged with striking, but the Glory camp has condemned the decision, arguing Hutchinson was actually the one responsible for the 44th-minute tangle.
Video footage shows Burns pull Hutchinson down before stepping on the Central Coast captain's calf. Hutchinson was then yellow carded for kicking his leg up in an attempt to remove his opponent.
Glory have contacted FFA to ask for the suspension to be reconsidered. They are prepared to take their case to court if they don't get their wish.
The Western Australian club has taken particular umbrage at the match review panel for officially terming the offence as an "assault".
"It's unbelievable. Jacob is livid with that word. We just don't understand it. We have watched the replay 100 times and just don't see it," Sage told 6PR.
"It looks like he is a thug.
"We got John Hutchinson involved. He wrote an email to the match review panel saying it was just part of the game and he was just stepping backwards. He said there was hardly any contact with his calf."
"If anything, the assault was the other way around when Hutchinson kicked Burnsy in the groin and got a yellow card."
Sage said the A-league's tribunal process was "ludicrous" because there was no avenue for clubs to challenge bans handed to players who either believe they are innocent or too harshly penalised.
"The thing about the AFL and even the NRL, there is an appeal process. (But) we cannot appeal, which to me, is the most ludicrous thing," he said.
"It's not a natural course of justice and that's what our lawyers say.
"There is no body further up than the match review panel that you can appeal to. I don't think there is any other sport in the world where you can't appeal a decision."
It's not the first time Sage has been at loggerheads with the A-League this month. A dispute over the competition's heat policy only subsided last week after a match between Glory and Adelaide United was played in Perth's 32-degree heat despite club requests for it to be rescheduled.
Sage will attempt to have the Burns suspension reviewed outside the court system, but does not believe FFA will listen due to his strained relationship with headquarters.
"My outspokeness has hurt the club at that level, it is fair to say."
"But if no-one says anything we will just get treated like second-class citizens forever," he said.
If the ban is not overturned, Burns will miss his side's trip to Brisbane Roar on Saturday as well as a home clash against Wellington Phoenix.
Sage hopes to have the matter settled by the time his team travels to Brisbane on Friday.
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