Date: 15th March 2019 at 5:31pm
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manager has revealed his frustrations at the FA charge handed out to both his side and for the behaviour of the players in the Second City derby.

While the clash was overshadowed by the incident involving a member of the public punching Jack Grealish on the pitch, the two sides both picked up a sanction from the FA for an incident in the fifth minute of the game.

However Smith was fuming with the decision, insisting that there were severe inconsistencies with the officiating, and that such behaviour happens “every time”.

Speaking at his press conference, he was quoted by Sky Sports News as saying: “The wording of the rules, I don’t think you can contest it. Yeah there were players around the referee – not surprised – and I must be inconsistent.

“Every time I watch games on TV, there’s three or more players surrounding the referee contesting decisions but not all charges are put up but unfortunately ourselves and Birmingham, I thought both sets of players kept a lid on things.

“To be charged, I thought it was very harsh and the ruling of it is very inconsistent.”

Opinion

Smith has every right to be upset with the charge coming his side’s way after victory over Birmingham. The players were hardly fighting out on the pitch and in fact there was not a lot happening between the two sets of XI. The punishment seems to have instead come from the attitude towards the referee, who found himself surrounded by players from both sides but not in an aggressive manner. As Smith says, that sort of behaviour happens every single match no matter what division you are in and if Villa and Birmingham are to be punished then the FA could make an absolute killing from issuing fines every other day. On a day which was meant to celebrate local rivalry the FA have taken action which only suggests they want the fires of passion out on the pitch to be extinguished. It will be interesting to see if anyone else gets the same punishment any time soon.