Stoke City chairman Peter Coates fined for accusing refs of bias

Peter Coates (left) and Mark Hughes
Peter Coates has been chairman of Stoke City since 2006, having previously owned the club in an earlier spell

Stoke City chairman Peter Coates has been fined £5,000 for accusing referees of "bias towards other teams".

Coates was upset with the officiating in successive home games against Swansea, Southampton and West Ham.

The Football Association ruled that his comments, made to local media, brought the game into disrepute and found him guilty of improper conduct.external-link

The 76-year-old Coates, who contested the charge, was also ordered to pay the costs of the independent hearing.