Leicester City deny parting company with manager Nigel Pearson

Outgoing Foxes boss was involved in bizarre scuffle with James McArthur on Saturday

Leicester have denied manager Nigel Pearson has been sacked by the club. Pearson led the Foxes to the Championship title last season, but his team have picked up just 17 points from their opening 24 matches of the current Premier League campaign and sit at the foot of the table.

Following reports of Pearson being dismissed earlier in the day, Leicester issued a statement to say he remained in charge. The statement, published on the club’s official website, read: “Leicester City Football Club would like to clarify its position relative to its manager, Nigel Pearson. “Contrary to media speculation on Sunday evening, Nigel remains the club’s first team manager. Reports to the contrary are inaccurate and without foundation. “Nigel, his staff and the first team squad are entirely focused on Tuesday night’s trip to Arsenal and our continued efforts to secure our position in the Barclays Premier League.”

Pearson has been heavily criticised for his role in the bizarre touchline argument with Scotland international James McArthur, which occurred in the second half of the 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday. After being accidently knocked over as he watched from the touchline, the manager exchanged words with McArthur - a player he tried to sign from Wigan last summer before the midfielder eventually opted to move to Selhurst Park - before putting his hand over his throat as he lay on the floor.

Pearson then appeared to grab McArthur’s shirt as he attempted to get back on the field before the fourth official was forced to intervene.


Asked why he had acted in that way, Pearson said: “Because he said something to me. I don’t have to reveal anything do I? I’m more than capable of looking after myself. Listen, I’ve a lot of respect for the lad, he’s a good player. You know what happened in the summer in terms of him coming here.”

Pearson then seeemed to pin the blame on his failure to sign McArthur at the start of the season on former Wigan manager Uwe Rösler.

“I’m as disappointed as he was with how things panned out, but it was nothing to do with either myself or the player,” he said. “That’s the other football club that were involved who take absolute responsibility for anything that wasn’t quite right.

“There was a certain manager (Rosler) who opened his trap when he should have kept his mouth shut. But there’s no problem with the player. He’s a good player and a likeable lad.”

Fined £10,000 (€13,500) and given a one-match ban after he was filmed telling one of his own supporters to "f**k off and die" in December, the former central defender was not expected to be charged by the Football Association for his latest indiscretion.