Updates from Friday, Jan. 17
According to Amy Lewis of Sky Sports, David Moyes has been fined £8,000 for his conduct:
BREAKING...David Moyes has been fined £8,000 and warned as to his future conduct following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing— Amy Lewis (@SkySportsAmy) January 17, 2014
Updates from Wednesday, Jan. 15
BBC Sport is reporting that David Moyes has accepted the charge of misconduct from the FA after his comments on officials:
Manchester United manager David Moyes accepts an FA charge of misconduct over comments he made about referees— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) January 15, 2014
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail is reporting that Moyes will likely be fined as a punishment.
To call David Moyes' first season at Old Trafford a trying one would be a severe understatement. Pressure has been mounting against the Manchester United boss, and he now finds himself in hot water with the Football Association.
Following the Red Devils' disappointing Capital One Cup loss Jan. 7 to Sunderland, Moyes criticized the match officiating. According to the FA's official website, he has been charged with misconduct for his comments.
It is alleged the comments called into question the integrity of the match officials appointed to that fixture and/or appointed to Manchester United fixtures generally, and/or implied that such match officials are motivated by bias; and/or brought the game into disrepute, in contravention of Rule E3(1).
Moyes was particularly upset about a penalty that his team conceded in the 64th minute of that match. The score was tied 1-1 at the time, but Sunderland's Fabio Borini converted, and United was never able to recover.
Per Rob Parrish of Sky Sports, Moyes questioned the officials' decision-making and motivation in a post-match press conference.
We had a player booked for the same challenge the other day, for doing the same thing. It's up to the referees, they're making their minds up. It looks as if we're having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment. It's really terrible, it really is, we're actually beginning to laugh at them.
Moyes comments likely stemmed from frustration regarding his squad's recent struggles. Manchester United appeared to be back on track after a good run in December, but they are currently in the midst of a three-match losing streak with one-goal defeats to Tottenham, Swansea City and Sunderland in succession.
The club's confidence has been called into question, but Moyes is unwilling to blame their struggles on that, especially after winning six straight in December, according to Manchester United's official Twitter account.
More from David Moyes: "Not winning can obviously affect your confidence. But we weren't talking about confidence when we won six in a row."— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 10, 2014
Does Moyes deserve to be punished for his comments?
Moyes isn't the first EPL manager to criticize match officials this season, and he is unlikely to be the last. The FA has rightly punished offending managers; however, it may be time to look into the inconsistent officiating that has plagued Premier League contests.
With that said, Moyes' gripes appeared flimsy at best. With Manchester United clinging to seventh place in the EPL, the former Everton manager is grasping at straws in an effort to turn the season around.
If nothing else, perhaps the passion he showed will inspire his players to raise their game to another level moving forward.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.