Former Tottenham defender Pascal Chimbonda has registered himself as a player for ninth-tier Skelmersdale United, the club he manages, after seeing a five-game touchline ban reduced on appeal. The 44-year-old was appointed in October and has won four of his 12 games in charge of the North West Counties League Premier Division’s bottom club.
Chimbonda was hit with a five-match stadium ban for improper conduct after being sent off during a game against Barnoldswick Town shortly after taking on the manager’s job at Skelmersdale. The Lancashire-based club have since confirmed that Chimbonda’s punishment has been reduced to a three-game ban following a successful appeal.
Skelmersdale also revealed that Chimbonda would be dusting off his boots after registering himself as a player, with the former Spurs and Wigan ace set to take to the pitch for the first time in five years.
A club statement on Friday read: “Following today’s personal hearing, the FA appeal board have agreed by majority that the five-match stadium ban originally imposed on Pascal Chimbonda to be excessive. In order to give effect to this decision, the appeal board have now issued Pascal with a three-match touchline ban, and have issued him with a £50 fine.
“Although we believe the punishment is still excessive, we’re much happier with the outcome, as this will allow Pascal to continue working, whereas the original ban had it been upheld would’ve prevented him from doing so. Providing there aren’t any postponements over the next few games, Pascal will be able to return to the dugout in time for our away game at Gigg Lane, Bury.
“In other news, Pascal is now registered as a player and we could indeed see him play against Bury on Saturday 27th January.”
Although Chimbonda has successfully managed to improve Skelmersdale’s form, they remain rooted to the bottom of the division with just 17 points from 29 games. Their lowly position is due in part to their horrendous start to the campaign, losing 15 of their first 16 matches prior to Chimbonda’s arrival.
The Frenchman reportedly took it upon himself to galvanise his players in November with a rousing half-time speech, in which he swore on 72 occasions. His team were four goals down to Colne at the time but his rant failed to have the desired effect, with Skelmersdale conceding twice in the second half on their way to a 6-0 loss.
According to The Athletic, Chimbonda screamed at his players: “What the f***! What the f***! What the f***! What the f***! What the f***! Seriously, what the f***! Now go back out there and show a bit of f***ing something in the second half, because this is a shambles. This is f***ing horrible. This is s***. If it wasn’t for him [pointing at goalkeeper Ben Barnes], it would be six or seven.”
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