But this is different. This is a player allegedly taking a stand during a game and his manager throwing the book at him in public immediately afterward. City's immediate and steadfast reaction makes this case without precedent.
Unlike Van Hooijdonk, Tevez is not an in-demand player (not because he's not a great footballer, but for the reasons cited above) and he's not central to City's success (not anymore anyay, not after the arrival of Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri). If he did plan this in advance, he's a fool. Which is why, most likely, it was simply a case of a guy on the bench "snapping" and doing something he should never have done. Whatever the outcome, Tevez has hurt himself.
The problem is, Mutu doesn't have that kind of money. And -- guess what? -- neither does Tevez. So taking him to court is not just risky, it could also be a waste of time.
It's not a great solution, but it at least allows Tevez to continue playing and makes it possible for him to get out of the club in January, which would mean that, for at least six months, his wages would be somebody else's problem (City, of course, may still need to subsidize part of them, but that's what happens when you sign a guy like that to such a huge contract.) At least Tevez would get playing time somewhere else. Think of it as a "shop window' and maybe, just maybe, somebody will be convinced he's worth bidding for next summer.
It's not a great way to resolve this issue, but, frankly, it's the most likely scenario. This is real life, Mancini's job isn't to teach Tevez morality, it's to do what's in City's best interest.