Pardew accepts seven-match ban for head-butt

Newcastle manager to serve three-match stadium ban and four from touchline

Alan Pardew

received the toughest managerial punishment in

Premier League

history yesterday but still emerged from a English


Football Association

disciplinary hearing at Wembley a relieved man.

The Newcastle United manager knows the three-game stadium ban followed by a four-match touchline suspension imposed in the wake of his head-butting of Hull City's David Meyler could have been significantly more severe.

Although FA sources suggested that the verdict of its three-man independent regulatory commission – who also fined Pardew £60,000 (€72,000) and warned him as to his future conduct – issued a “strong message” it seems the Newcastle manager’s legal advisers did an excellent job in exploiting helpful precedents.

Even so, it still represents the longest period a league manager has been banned from a technical area since February 1989 when Nottingham Forest's Brian Clough was barred from the touchline until the end of that season after hitting fans.

Newcastle, who fined Pardew £100,000 (€120,000) but never considered sacking him, were quick to issue a statement saying they had "accepted" the decision and wished to "draw a line under the matter".

Nonetheless the incident is bound to top the agenda tomorrow when the 52-year-old is scheduled to address media before Saturday's trip to Fulham.

After the hearing, Pardew restricted himself to a brief comment. “As I have made clear, I deeply regret the incident and again wholeheartedly apologise to all parties for my conduct, which I understand was not acceptable,” he said. “I will accept the punishment handed down by the FA.

“My focus now turns to preparing the team for this weekend’s game against Fulham and finishing the season as strongly as possible.”

The precedent of Mark Yates proved immensely helpful to his case. In 2007 the then Kidderminster manager merely received a four-game touchline ban and a £350 fine for head-butting an Exeter player.

Moreover, last October Blackpool's former manager Paul Ince served a five-game stadium ban for "violently shoving" the fourth official during an expletive-laden post-match rant. Pardew is understood to have argued that his offence was less serious than both Ince's and Nicolas Anelka's, the West Brom striker who was suspended for five matches after his anti-semitic "quenelle" goal celebration.

Yet Newcastle's manager hardly boasts an unblemished record having been "reminded of his responsibilities" by the FA earlier this season after swearing at Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini. Back in 2012 he served a two-match touchline ban for pushing an assistant referee.

During the games at Fulham and at home to Crystal Palace and Everton which will see him barred from the stadiums, Pardew intends to watch games from hotel rooms, with club video analysts helping him interpret live match feed, while John Carver, his assistant, takes temporary charge of the team.
Guardian Service