Striker Carlos Tevez has resumed life as a Manchester City player after serving a two-week ban. His suspension for allegedly refusing to play in the Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich has now expired and he turned up at the club’s training ground as expected just after 12.10pm.
Tevez, accompanied by a companion, drove into the Carrington complex and was met by two of the club’s security staff when he had parked up. It is understood he arrived for a fitness session as the rest of the first-team squad and manager Roberto Mancini had attended regular training at 11am.
Tevez faces the prospect of a heavy punishment after the club found he had a case to answer over his conduct in Munich last month. Mancini claimed after the defeat in the Allianz Arena that the player had refused to go on as a substitute when requested.
Tevez’s advisor Kia Joorabchian said the matter boiled down to a simple misunderstanding in the heat of the moment and claimed the forward had been mistranslated in an interview he gave after the game, when he is alleged to have declared that his “head wasn’t right to play”.
Tevez was suspended for a fortnight the day after the game, allowing City to launch an internal investigation, the findings of which led to a statement being released which made clear the matter will not end with the two-week ban.
“The club has now reached a stage in its investigation where it has concluded that there is a case for Carlos Tevez to answer of alleged breaches of contract,” said the statement released by City last night.
“Accordingly, the club has informed him that he will face disciplinary proceedings and the hearing will be convened shortly.”
It is not known whether Mancini and Tevez are due to meet this afternoon. The Italian was furious in the aftermath of the Bayern game, declaring that, as far as he was concerned, Tevez was “finished” at City.
It now appears the Blues, at the very least, partially agree with Mancini’s version of events on September 27th, although they are yet to state publicly whether their issue with Tevez concerns his failure to warm up, or to play.
Yet, strict regulations regarding footballing disciplinary matters being what they are, the matter cannot be resolved speedily. If City impose a punishment, Tevez will still have recourse to two appeal procedures, first to the City board, and then the Premier League.
With all the paperwork that would have to be supplied by both parties, it means the whole saga may not be concluded until December should Tevez exercise his rights. In a sense, that would be an acceptable situation for both parties given the proximity of the January transfer window.
Even if City’s stance is bolstered by other club employees backing Mancini’s version of events, Tevez, whose command of English remains limited, could still argue he misunderstood what was being asked of him.
The Professional Footballers’ Association have been involved in the process, and their expertise may be required again before the affair reaches a conclusion, which is likely to end with Tevez’s exit.
“I have (spoken to Tevez) and he is saying he didn’t refuse to play but it was a question of him continually being asked to warm up and he felt he had warmed up enough,” PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor said.
“There was a problem that was caused in the conditions of the game and one player had come off, another player had gone on and so there’s conflicting views, yes, and from that point of view there is the view of the manager, the view of the player.
“The club have had to interview different people who were there at the time and see television evidence, and they feel there is enough evidence now to justify a disciplinary hearing.”