Jets coach Merrick has fine rescinded

Jets coach Ernie Merrick has been given a suspended one-match ban, but had a $3,000 fine rescinded.
Jets coach Ernie Merrick has been given a suspended one-match ban, but had a $3,000 fine rescinded.

Newcastle Jets coach Ernie Merrick has had a $3,000 fine for a breach of the FFA's national Code of conduct rescinded and been given a suspended one-match ban.

Merrick appealed against the original penalty levied on him for statements he made in the post-match media conference after the A-League Round 16 match between Newcastle and Perth Glory on January 27.

The three-man independent disciplinary and ethics committee chaired by John Marshall SC convened last Tuesday to hear the appeal, but deferred their judgement.

In the judgement released on Tuesday, they found Merrick guilty of breaching the code.

They decided on a suspended sanction of one game, which will be activated if Merrick commits a further breach of clause 5.1(a) of the Code of Conduct prior to the end 2018/19 A-League season.

The Jets released a statement saying the committee noted that their conclusion was reached with 'some difficulty' citing the struggles faced by coaches when fronting the media post-match to remain within the confides of the Code.

It was also noted that Merrick was "...the sort of coach and official that the (Hyundai) A-League and football ought be proud to have." - citing the Scotsman's experience, knowledge of the game and articulate nature.

"John Marshall provided a very thorough report on the matter and I appreciate the work of the Committee and FFA in facilitating a fair hearing," Merrick said.

"With the structure of the Code of Conduct I was never in a position to be exonerated, but the intent of this exercise was to bring to light some of the inconsistencies we've seen in this area.

"Moving forward I hope this situation will spur the FFA to open a continued dialogue with coaches, allowing us to share our views and make a contribution to the development of the game."

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Australian Associated Press