Top Shark Had No Case To Answer
LONG serving Port Macquarie football manager Les Murphy is relieved all charges of referee abuse levelled at him have been dropped.
Murphy was cited to appear before the Group 2 management committee - a body from which he has since resigned in protest - in the wake of rowdy scenes at Hastings Regional Stadium on July 27 when the Sharks hosted Sawtell.
But when he fronted up to face his accusers, he was informed at the last moment there was no case to answer and questions are now being asked why he was called to account in the first place.
"I'm glad the matter is over as from day one, I said it was a charge I should not have been facing," Murphy said.
"My main anger was that I was cited for abuse to a match official by another match official.
"I'm sure if I had abused him - the referee - he would have cited me for sure.
"But when I spoke to him (the referee) he knew nothing of two of the three citings from the match in question."
"That day saw all club and match officials under a lot of pressure over that other major incident earlier in the day that generated major media attention leading up to my attending the management meeting."
The other citings were of former first grade coach Anthony Fenton who has since been handed a six week suspension for sounding off at the referee, and the controversial case involving reserve grade player Robert Inglis.
Group 2 has held over the Inglis case until next Tuesday when he will be charged with allegedly threatening physical harm to referee James Maggio.
The completion of that case will clear the way for the Sharks to make their move to the neighbouring Group 3 competition in 2013.