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Bullard Suspended, Chopra Fined
Bullard Suspended, Chopra Fined
Saturday, 3rd Mar 2012 18:05

Town boss Paul Jewell has confirmed that midfielder Jimmy Bullard has been suspended for two weeks and has revealed that striker Michael Chopra has been fine two weeks’ wages for being late for training after spending Wednesday night out in Newcastle.

Jewell explained his decision at the post-match press conference after the 3-0 victory over Bristol City: “There were two players who were out in Newcastle on Wednesday and at places they shouldn’t have been at times they shouldn’t have been and didn’t make training, or rather were 15 or 20 minutes late.

“I had a decision to make and decided to suspend Jimmy for a fortnight because the one thing that Jimmy loves is playing football and training, so I decided that maybe the best way for Jimmy to learn or to punish him is to suspend him.

“I don’t want to do it but I think it’s the best thing, we have to do something, we can’t have players doing that.”

He confirmed that Michael Chopra, who netted his 100th career league goal against the Robins, will be fined the maximum two weeks’ wages: “Michael Chopra will be getting fined. They’re both guilty of the same crime, to some people it might look a bit strange, but my view, my humble opinion, is to fine Michael Chopra and not to suspend him for two weeks.

“With Chops’s well-documented problems that might be counter-productive. For anyone who is wondering why the decision has been made and how it has been made, they’re the reasons.

“I thought sending Michael away for two weeks would be counter-productive for the team and certainly for Michael.”

Jewell, who says clubs can either fine or suspend players for disciplinary matters, admitted suspending Bullard was a difficult decision to make: “It’s never easy to suspend a player who I have signed twice, who is the life and soul of the dressing room. It’s not easy but what I’ve got to try and do is what’s right for the team or the club.

“The players have made a mistake, but we’ve all made mistakes, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, and I’ve dealt with it the way I feel is best. Whether that’s the right way or the wrong way, I don’t know. But I felt that was the right thing to do for the good of our team.”

The Town boss dismissed suggestions that Bullard, who is understood to have now settled his dispute with former club Hull City, is notorious for off-field issues: “I don’t know that he has got a terrible reputation. I know he’s had documented problems at Hull but this is the first time I’ve ever had a problem with Jimmy and I can only speak as I find.

“I think more importantly he’s let himself and his team-mates down, that’s what’s happened. I’ve dealt with it, whether that’s the right way or the wrong way. I understand I’m going to get questions but I’ve been up front with you, I’ve told you why I’ve done it and what I’ve done and there’s not too much more to say.”

He says terminating Bullard’s contract – as was the case at Hull in the summer after an alleged indiscretion on a pre-season trip to Slovenia – isn’t in his thoughts: “That hasn’t come into the equation.

“He’s late for training – everyone’s been late for training in their life – but the circumstances surrounding why they were late for training are not a normal late for training crime.”

Jewell says Chopra has let the club down given the way they have helped him with his gambling problems: “He has, there’s no doubt about that, but the biggest person he’s let down is himself. He represents himself and he’s let himself down.”

He says the rest of the squad made their annoyance clear: “In fairness to the rest of the players, they were extremely unhappy that they turned up late for training on the Wednesday.

“But life goes on and Michael’s scored a good goal today, has put in a good performance and we’re a better team with him in it, there’s no doubt about that.

“Some people might say that I’m treating people differently but one thing I’ve learnt in football management is that you can’t treat everybody the same. You’d like to think everyone is the same, but it’s all about getting the best out of people, and ultimately the best out of the team. I think he’s been terrific over the last six or seven games, he’s our main player, no doubt about it.”

Jewell quashed suggestions that Bullard might use his time off to take a trip to Las Vegas: “Jimmy would have been happy with a fine. He won’t be in Las Vegas for two weeks because he has to give his whereabouts, every player has to give an address where they’re going to be every day of the week for drugs testing.

“I know Jimmy, he’s a fantastic lad. He loves football, he loves playing, he loves training and he’ll be devastated that we’ve take that away from him for two weeks.”

The Town manager says both players expressed their regret regarding the incident: “They both said sorry. They apologised.

“Both the lads know they’ve let themselves down, they’ve let me down, they’ve let the players down, they’ve let everyone down.

“Sometimes things happen and we’ve got to deal with them. In life nothing goes smoothly, nothing goes the way you expect it to. I don’t want to lambast the players, they’ve made a mistake, it’s a bad mistake, let’s move on.”

Jewell says his squad are well aware of the dangers of social media, Bullard and Chopra’s nights out having been documented on Twitter: “The players know that.

“But the rest of the squad weren’t [out in Newcastle]. The rest of the lads went out in London on Tuesday, bonding, [Bullard and Chopra] broke the rules, that’s it.”

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havinit69 added 18:17 - Mar 3

BossMan added 18:20 - Mar 3
Disgraceful management to treat them diffently

das_bones added 18:21 - Mar 3
Sound right to me, chopra does need different treatment because of his off-field issues

Sindre94 added 18:34 - Mar 3
Im ok with this, is it true what people have said about Bullard trying to get Chopra into a casino? If thats the case, then we should terminate bullards contract, thats disgraceful and doesnt show any respect.
Bullard has really let me down the last season

deliasplums added 18:37 - Mar 3
Terrific management - knows his players and knows what will hurt them and more to the point - what won't. Spot on PJ

eunos added 18:38 - Mar 3
Totally agree das bones!

Sounds like good man management, and a straightforward common sense and honest appraisal of the situation. It's not realistic to 'treat everyone the same' - everyone has different circumstances and responds differently to these things.

It's stupid to just have a tick list, one size fits all approach - we're talking about expensive and tempremental human beings. At the end of the day all I really care about is whats best for IPSWICH TOWN FC, if that means playing Chops and suspending Jimmy then so be it - I trust in PJ to have a considerably better idea of how to handle this than most of the posters on here that's for sure.

Get over it, learn from it, move on FFS!

Sindre94 added 18:40 - Mar 3
so if chops have been suspended who knows, we might have lost today...
Im very glad hes just fined

MathieandMarshall added 18:44 - Mar 3
Have to admit my first thought was that Chops has got of lightly because he is on form, however after hearing PJ give his reasons I have to agree that I think e has handled this perfectly. Giving Chops two weeks to sit around bored would be asking for trouble, could easilly fall back into old habits. Equally fining Jimmy would not hurt him. He'll loaded! Much better to take his football away.

davidsc1971 added 18:45 - Mar 3
No this isn't right, if they're both guilty of the same thing then you have to treat them both equally. Otherwise that's what employment tribunals are there for, for when one party is treated differently by an employer over another. And given that Mr J Bullard is taking his previous employers to court over their handling of him - this is interesting ground for the club and they will need their facts straight or should expect the worst.

Presumably there are different circumstances that allow Town to differentiate between Chops and Bullard and their treatment of them both? Let's hope so

ozzydog added 18:47 - Mar 3
Spot on PJ

jas0999 added 18:48 - Mar 3
Terrible management. This boils down to money. The club don't want Scotland to start three more games. Both players have let the club down and should be treated the same. If Chopra got a fine, so should Bullard. You should not treat the players differently. End of story.

Mark added 18:56 - Mar 3
It sounds like they are guilty of the same offence and I can imagine Bullard feels rather unfairly treated. Perhaps just fining both of them would be better, as there is no way we'd want to suspend Chopra if at all possible with the way he is playing and scoring regularly.

I don't want Scotland to start 3 games either as if he stays it should be on a much cheaper contract and if he goes his salary will probably pay the wages of two or three less expensive players.

bluesimon added 19:05 - Mar 3
So I take it that Chopra doesn't like playing football then?

By suspending them both from first team duty doesn't mean you can't keep an eye on them. Get them in painting the turnstiles or changing light bulbs!

Dissboyitfc added 19:10 - Mar 3
Davidsc1971.... i have been savage about Jewell in the past, for wrong decisions , but he got this spot on, i have been a manager in the past and the one thing i know is people respond differently to there punishment, some need a hug, some need a rollocking , were you at the game ? did you see chopra"s performance? a fine wouldnt even register in jimmys mind. A fine however will have more of an effect on Chopra, the guy has money problems, so suspend chopra may well undo, the progress that has been made with jimmys addiction.
And as for you jas0999, why do you bother posting on here? you say things should be dealt with fairly, then why cant you be fair and give Jewell credit when its do?
you will sweart black is white to have a pop at Jewell... were you a big Keane fan ? COYB

Garv added 19:16 - Mar 3
Fair enough.

Too predictable Jas, try harder.

Paulc added 19:16 - Mar 3
I'm not a PJ fan at all, and never wanted him at the club. But he is spot on with this. Anyone talking of tribunals is talking out of the wrong hole in their body. Rules clearly state 2 weeks wages or 2 weeks suspension. It would then be up to the manager to dish out as he sees fit.
Great result today btw.

dommyboyblue added 19:17 - Mar 3

Spot on in my opinion.

I think Jas is prob some sad lonely moron who sits hunched over his/her computer, trying to wind people up to get some kicks out of his/her sad and pathetic existence.

BillBlue added 19:20 - Mar 3
In the circumstances PJ you got it just right. I think this is excellent man-management and, IMO, you got it just right. If you think JB should stay in the club then I will accept that too. Great, win today, let us all be happy. COYB

Dissboyitfc added 19:22 - Mar 3
Paulc... nice one, just goes to show even if you are not a Jewell fan, some on here can give the guy credit when its due....Coyb

Dozzells_Bobblehat added 19:24 - Mar 3
What a shock, jas slates PJ. I totally disagree. In my book, excellent management. It is the same crime, but they are different people. Would a fine really hurt bullard?, and the last thing we want is chopra with loads of free time. He needs to throw himself into his football. Plus why cut off your nose to spite your face. I think we should now move on with this. It was stupid, but it happened, they have been punished, end of.

Colin_Viljoen added 19:30 - Mar 3
New address for BULLARD; Care of Alan Lee Amsterdam

Tractorog added 19:30 - Mar 3
Oh so this is bad management? So who would have scored the first goal and set up another?
We've had a good afternoons entertainment, it's about time some of the posters on here got off their high horses. Jas take some advice for a change. When you're in a hole stop digging. That's particularly true in your case as the hole you're in is the same one your opinions come from and your view of the game is obscured by your own butt cheeks.

SouperJim added 19:38 - Mar 3
Very well handled by PJ and his reasoning for the two different punishments makes perfect sense. Anybody who says different needs to pull their head of their backside.

arc added 19:40 - Mar 3
So what is the nature of Bullard's suspension? Has he been told to stay away for two weeks? Or is he training with the youths? (Let's hope not!—he'll lead them astray.) Training at Playford Road by himself? He certainly shouldn't be given two weeks off.

alfromcol added 19:54 - Mar 3
How many on here have had a night out and been late for work the next day???

loss of two weeks wages or 'don't come into work for 2 weeks' which would you prefer?

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