Alan Pardew asks for personal hearing over David Meyler headbutt

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has asked for a personal hearing to plead his case after accepting a Football Association misconduct charge

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew (R) is sent to the stands after clashing with Hull City's David Meyler
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew (R) is sent to the stands after clashing with Hull City's David Meyler

Alan Pardew will be given the chance to plead his case as he looks to avoid the longest managerial ban in Premier League history.

As expected, the Newcastle United manager admitted a misconduct hearing after headbutting Hull City’s David Meyler on Saturday, but has asked for a personal hearing.

No date has yet been set for the case to be heard.

There are few precedents for Pardew’s action, which came during a scuffle as he prevented former Sunderland midfielder Meyler from taking a quick throw-in during last week’s Premier League game. While some have debated the semantics of whether it constituted a headbutt, very few have come to his defence.

The suggestion from Football Association sources is that the disciplinary commission is unlikely to be very sympathetic to the Londoner.

Sir Alex Ferguson holds the record for the longest managerial suspension in the Premier League. He was banned from the touchline for five matches, two suspended, for criticising the fitness of referee Martin Atkinson in 2011. Pardew’s punishment could easily be double that, and not restricted to the touchline.

In 2001 Arsene Wenger was handed a 12-match touchline ban for “violent or threatening conduct” towards fourth official Paul Taylor after a game at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. After an appeal it was downgraded to a reprimand and a £10,000 fine plus costs for “improper conduct”.

Ferguson’s ban allowed him to watch from the stands and speak to his players before the match, and at half-time.

It was accompanied by a £30,000 fine. Newcastle handed their manager a £100,000 fine and a formal warning for his behaviour hours after the incident.

Pardew’s ban is more likely to prevent him entering the stadium at all.

Then-Blackpool manager Paul Ince received such a ban in October.

He missed five matches for “violently shoving” and verbally abusing fourth official Mark Pottage during a Championship game against Bournemouth.

Ince had already been sent to the stands for throwing a bottle, which hit a female spectator.

Pardew’s misdemeanour was more high-profile than Ince’s and that, and his past record, are likely to count against him.

Although the game was not broadcast live on British television Pardew’s actions, rather than the quality of his team’s performance in the 4-1 win, ensured it was the main game on that evening’s Match of the Day.

The FA are also acutely aware Pardew’s record is not as clean as the solitary two-match ban on it would suggest.

He received that in August 2012 (along with a £20,000 fine) for shoving linesman Peter Kirkup during the Magpies’ opening game of the season.

Yet he escaped punishment for a touchline shoving match with Wenger as West Ham United manager in November 2006 (the Frenchman was punished) and an argument with Sunderland’s Martin O’Neill in 2012.

Earlier this year he was sent a letter by the FA reminding him of his responsibilities after a foul-mouthed tirade against opposite number Manuel Pellegrini of Manchester City was caught on camera.

All three incidents were replayed on Match of the Day.

Pardew also escaped punishment for an incident with Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino in December which both men apologised for afterwards. Pardew called it “pretty pathetic.”

The United boss will be hoping his post-match apologies – accepted by Hull – and his club’s swift actions work in his favour.

A ten-match ban would run until the end of the season.

The FA have nine days to decide on a punishment before Newcastle’s next game, at Fulham.

Meanwhile Willie Donachie, who resigned as reserve-team coach in February after allegedly striking one of his own players, has accepted responsibilities for his departure.

He said: “What I try to teach the players is to be responsible for your actions – don’t try to blame anyone else.

“So I’m going to go somewhere else to try to be a great coach.

“I want to say thank you to the people of Newcastle who have been very supportive.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
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