Stoke City chief executive Tony Scholes has slammed The Football Association's decision to ban midfielder Charlie Adam for three matches having been retrospectively charged with violent conduct after stamping on Arsenal's Olivier Giroud.
The incident occurred during The Potters' 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday but was missed by the match officials, allowing The FA to take action under their new regulations and force Adam to miss the next three league games.
Mark Hughes' side are hovering six points above the relegation zone but Adam will be absent for Stoke's games against Norwich City, West Ham United and Aston Villa leaving Scholes furious with the governing bodies' inconsistent approach.
"I am extremely disappointed for the effect that this is going to have on Charlie and on the football club," the CEO said. "However, I am not surprised because clubs like ours very rarely succeed in appeals to the FA.
"We put together a strong defence which was based upon the facts, which were that Charlie needed to plant his foot, and in changing direction his eyes followed the ball at all times.
"How can anybody other than Charlie say what intent was there? How can the FA possibly justify this decision in the light of recent incidents which were far worse at other clubs, which have gone unpunished?"
Sunderland's Wes Brown, Norwich City's Bradley Johnson and Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose are among the players to have successfully appealed dismissals this season, though Stoke chairman Peter Coates is unhappy in the manner in which Adam has been victimised.
"We feel this is trial by media," the Britannia Stadium chief said. "We are disgusted.
"Charlie absolutely assures us it was not intentional. We will defend it vigorously. It is appalling. We have seen some of the things that have gone on in recent weeks and no-one has been called to account."
Adam, who has a chequered disciplinary history with Tottenham having submmited an official complaint earlier this season following a tackle which forced Brazilian midfielder Paulinho out for four weeks, has been near ever-present for Stoke, scoring six goals in 26 appearances.
The FA statement read: "Stoke City's Charlie Adam will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after an FA charge for violent conduct was found proven.
"The incident with Arsenal's Olivier Giroud, which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video, occurred during the fixture between the two sides at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday 1 March 2014.
"Adam had denied the charge, but it was found proven at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today [Wednesday 5 March 2014]."