Ban hanging over Leeds United coach after touchline fracas during Blackburn Rovers loss

Christopher John is sent off during Leeds United's Blackburn Rovers loss -Credit:Mark Kerton/REX/Shutterstock
Christopher John is sent off during Leeds United's Blackburn Rovers loss -Credit:Mark Kerton/REX/Shutterstock

A touchline ban is hanging over Leeds United assistant manager Christopher John after his outburst during Saturday’s loss to Blackburn Rovers. The coach was incensed by James Bell’s refusal to award the Whites a penalty in the 97th minute and leapt into the away technical area to remonstrate with fourth official Keith Stroud.

John was sitting in the seats behind the home dugout and jumped into the Blackburn area to get to Stroud, who was already dealing with some away complaints. John Eustace was furious with John’s invasion of their space and went to push him back.

A statement from The Football Association said: “Leeds United's assistant manager has been charged with misconduct following their game against Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Championship on Saturday, April 13. It's alleged Christopher John's behaviour around the 97th minute was improper, and he has until Friday, 19 April, to provide a response.”

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LeedsLive understands John is unlikely to contest the charge. Similar cases at other EFL clubs have lead to one-match touchline bans and fines.

After play had paused, Bell came over to discuss the incident with Stroud before brandishing the red card in John’s direction. Daniel Farke watched on while all this was happening and addressed the matter after the game.

“I haven’t really seen the situation, just when the referee came over to give the red card,” said Farke. “It was the situation when, perhaps, my staff members were appealing for a penalty.

“I think this was the situation and it's also quite normal. It's a crunch time period of the season, so sometimes emotions, especially after what has happened the other night, you're then a bit frustrated.

“I have to ask exactly for the explanation. The fourth official Keith has just told me one of my staff members has crossed the line to their coaching zone.

“If this was the case then we have to apologise because it shouldn't happen. Although, if I'm honest, I've seen many staff members of the opponents in my coaching zone.

“I never appeal for red cards and I don't think it has to be like this. Everything was more or less a bit emotional, but at least I have not realised anything over the line.

“It seems like he has crossed the line and if Keith is there with an explanation then it should be a red card and he was probably spot on. I would wish the referee's decisions on the pitch are even a bit more spot on when it comes to the clear rules.

“We would be there were more points, but that's a different topic.”