Referee Mike Dean has revealed he would have sent off Carlos Tevez if he had been afforded a full view of the clash between the Manchester City striker and QPR midfielder Joey Barton on the final day of the Premier League season.
Barton was on Wednesday handed a 12-match ban for his dismissal and violent reaction at the Etihad Stadium on May 13, when City beat QPR 3-2 to win their first league title for 44 years. QPR have since said that Barton, now the subject of an investigation by his club following the incident, would not appeal against that decision.
Later, the Football Association published the full report by the independent regulatory commission into the case. Tevez appeared to strike out at Barton initially, and Dean, via video link, told the regulatory commission that it was a red-card offence which had gone unnoticed.
In the report, which is signed by commission chairman B.M Jones, it is stated that: "Mr Dean was questioned about the 'Tevez' incident for which Mr Barton was dismissed. It was confirmed that neither the referee nor the assistant saw the alleged incident of Mr Tevez striking Mr Barton although Mr Barton immediately made representations to Mr Dean that is what happened, and such comments by Mr Barton can be clearly seen in the video.
"The commission accept that Mr Barton was aggrieved by the action of Mr Tevez and Mr Dean confirmed that had the incident been seen by the officials as shown by the clip supplied by Mr Barton, it would have been an automatic red card.
"The commission find that this does not however excuse the subsequent action by Mr Barton in relation to Messrs Kompany or Aguero."
Barton receives strong criticism in the report for his assault on Aguero, which the commission, which included former Chelsea defender Paul Elliott, said could have caused "serious injury" to the player who went on to score the title-winning goal.
"The commission considered the 'Aguero' incident was a cold and calculated attack from behind Mr Aguero," the report states.
"It was deliberate and the absolute anger etched in Mr Barton's face, is most clearly seen in the videos. It was premeditated and without any provocation and could easily have caused Mr Aguero injury and maybe have put him out of the rest of the game.
"Fortunately he did not suffer any serious injury but he must have been taken very much by surprise and shocked which could have affected his game. The incident was watched by millions of people on television and Mr Barton really had no option other than to admit his guilt and he did so. No great credit can be, or was, given for the admission in this regard."