The Football Association is comfortable the correct process was followed as an independent regulatory commission threw out Andy Carroll's appeal against a violent conduct ban this week amid the threat that the striker's club, West Ham United, may take legal action against the governing body.
The Premier League side, who hover just below the relegation cut-off, sought advice from the QC Lord David Pannick on Tuesday after Carroll's three-match suspension for flinging an arm at Swansea's Chico Flores was confirmed.
The club had been confident the sending-off would be overturned after submitting evidence to the commission. Yet the panel determined that those testimonies did not expose the referee's decision to be erroneous and, as it stands, the England striker will miss Saturday's game against Aston Villa and following matches against Norwich City and Southampton.
So incensed are West Ham at the decision that their hierarchy are understood to have written to the FA detailing their frustrations at the procedure, and demanding Carroll be granted a formal hearing to scrutinise the dismissal ahead of the weekend. The possibility of taking the matter to the high court has even been mooted, despite all Premier League clubs having agreed on the process to be applied in these cases prior to the start of the season.
The FA declined to comment on Wednesday night as to whether it had received a letter but is confident the correct protocol has been followed, with the commission having decided no "obvious error" having been committed by the referee, Howard Webb, in showing Carroll the red card during Saturday's game with Swansea. That would comply with the governing body's own rule book, as agreed upon by the clubs.
The regulatory commission had not taken into account Flores's dramatic reaction to his brush with Carroll, the Spaniard falling to the turf clutching his face when the striker had actually made contact with the top of his head.
That has prompted criticism from Swansea fans and, in particular, West Ham supporters with Flores taking to Twitter on Wednesday night to publish a short video of the incident – as he had on Saturday night – and then criticise the London club's style of play.
"I'm a bit tired of the strong insults from the West Ham fans," Flores wrote "Whoever doesn't see the aggression in that action is blind. They [West Ham] should be more preoccupied with the ugly way their team play football always making very long passes and never quick short passing.
"They should be worried about that before caring about such evident things. Ok West Ham 2-0 Swansea... Swansea 24 points, West Ham 22 points. Hahaha. Smart!! Good luck."