Newcastle boss Joe Kinnear was today completing his preparations for the derby trip to Middlesbrough with a Football Association charge hanging over his head.
The 61-year-old was charged with improper conduct on Thursday afternoon after branding Martin Atkinson "a Mickey Mouse referee" following his side's 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Fulham on November 9.
An FA spokesman said: "Newcastle United manager Joe Kinnear has been charged with improper conduct."
The statement continued: "The charge relates to comments made about referee Martin Atkinson in media interviews following Newcastle's match against Fulham on 9 November.
"Kinnear has until 12 December to respond to the charge."
The Magpies boss was furious with Atkinson's decision not to award his side a free-kick for Andrew Johnson's challenge on Claudio Cacapa in the build-up to what proved to be the Londoners' match-winning penalty.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, he said: "Cacapa was on the ball and Johnson completely pushes him out the way, nicks the ball and gets the penalty.
"We have got the Mickey Mouse referee doing nothing. He's made an error that cost us."
It is not the first time Kinnear has talked his way into trouble - he spent the opening two matches of his spell as interim Newcastle boss watching from the stands as he served a two-match touchline ban dating back to his time at Nottingham Forest.
That punishment was imposed after he referred to an official as "Coco the Clown".
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