Hull City manager Phil Brown has today poured more fuel on the fire of the dispute with Arsenal that is beginning to take on epic proportions.
It is alleged that Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas, currently sidelined with injury, behaved extremely aggressively around City players as he rushed on the pitch to celebrate at the end of the 2-1 victory, and later spat at Tigers assistant manager Brian Horton in the Emirates tunnel. Fabregas was also dressed in a manner that Brown feels was inappropriate for someone sitting on a Premier League bench.
And Brown, commenting on the dispute today, was clearly absolutely incensed about events, and it was clear whom he held accountable when he listed his complaints to The London Evening Standard.
He said, "One: Being on the pitch after the game — he had no right to be there. Two: Being dressed in the manner in which he was dressed. Three: The pictures verify the aggression he was showing towards our players and staff after the game.
"It was a disgraceful act. Whichever way you look at it, spitting at Brian Horton or spitting on the ground, it doesn't matter. He addressed that spitting incident at my assistant manager, who has managed more than 1,000 games in his career."
Brown was also uncompromising in his further assertions to The Hull Daily Mail, to whom he also enunciated his objections about the match referee, Mike Riley, who he felt had been less than objective in his handling of the game.
He stated, "I'm not bothered about an apology. I don't accept apologies off my own players.
"Brian will receive the full support of the people of Hull, that includes my chairman, who we had a long conversation with this morning.
"We’ll go down the right channels and support Brian Horton."
As for whether Riley was a 'cheat', Brown insisted that he couldn't possibly use that word, but he felt some decisions were certainly not made in an even-handed way.
"You said the word, I can't use that word I'm afraid, but that is the case," he added.
"The lad is two yards offside, Nick Barmby is a yard offside and the flag goes up for him. That's why we're out of the FA Cup. Ask Mr Riley how much that is going to cost Hull City and I honestly don't think he'd understand. I don't think he would care.
"When you come to the Emirates, I understand you're not going to get the rub of the green, I concede that. "But when an official makes a decision in the first half and doesn't in the second, it's hard to take."
The uncompromising Mackem was stirred by the battling performance of his own players though, and concluded by asserting, "I'm proud of my players. I've asked them to bring that fighting spirit to the table for the next nine games and we will be fine, there's no doubt about it."
Zack Wilson, Goal.com