MANCHESTER CITY last night threw the book at Carlos Tevez, fining the striker £800,000 after finding him guilty of refusing to play in last month’s match against Bayern Munich.
City chiefs concluded a month of investigations into the unsettled Argentinian’s conduct in the Champions League fixture by finding him guilty of five separate breaches of contract.
The Premier League’s runaway leaders fined Tevez (below) four weeks’ wages – equivalent to around £800,000 – and banned him for two weeks, a suspension deemed to have already been served.
Tevez, however, was last night thought to be considering legal action of his own with City manager Roberto Mancini, who could yet be sued for defamation of character, his target.
City, though, maintain the 27-year-old had breached “an obligation to participate in any matches in which the player is selected to play for the club when directed by a club official.”
He was also found guilty of failing in his obligations as a player; failing to obey instructions from club officials; and two charges relating to bringing the game or club into disrepute.
Tevez has the right to appeal to the club’s board and is expected to do so. If he were to fail, he has the option of taking his case to the Premier League.
Regardless, the development appears to be another nail in the coffin of his City career.
It will be seen as a victory for City manager Roberto Mancini, who adopted a hard line straight after the incident, announcing in post-match interviews that Tevez was “finished” at the club. The row flared up during the second half of the European match in Germany on 27 September, when Mancini looked to bring on substitute Tevez in a bid to overturn his team’s deficit.
Tevez appeared to refuse and immediately afterwards said in Spanish: “I didn’t feel right to play so I didn’t.” The following day he insisted he had not refused to play, while his adviser Kia Joorabchian subsequently said Tevez had been mistranslated initially.
The former Manchester United player agitated for a move over the summer but a transfer failed to materialise, with City asking £40m for a player who scored 53 goals for them in two seasons.
Uncertainty over his future contributed to City’s decision to spend £35m on his Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero in August, and the new man’s incredible start – he has scored nine goals in eight games – helped keep Tevez sidelined until the Bayern incident.
Aguero scored the third goal on Sunday as City crushed champions, bitter rivals and nearest challengers Manchester United 6-1 at Old Trafford to increase their lead at the top of the table to five points.