Alan Pardew will accept an FA charge of improper conduct and a possible lengthy ban – but the Newcastle United manager retains the support of owner Mike Ashley despite the football authorities preparing the way for an unprecedented punishment.
The United boss was formally charged by the FA with improper conduct yesterday afternoon and a statement made it clear that the offence is considered “non-standard”.
That effectively opens all avenues of punishment to the three-man independent commission which is expected to sit on any disciplinary hearing.
Pardew, who had granted his Newcastle squad a day off yesterday, has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the charge – but The Journal understands that he will accept the charge and any length of punishment that is coming his way.
The Newcastle manager is said to be contrite and regretful about the incident, which continues to dominate the football agenda some 48 hours after the clash between Hull City’s David Meyler and Pardew which saw the latter sent to the stands.
The Magpies manager is said to be looking at ways that he could ensure nothing of the same ilk happens again, although with no game this weekend he will have time to escape the glare of the spotlight if he so wishes.
Pardew has at least been bouyed by a supportive reaction from Newcastle owner Ashley, who has made it clear to him that his job is not under threat in the short-term. That is despite the prospect of a stadium ban or a touchline suspension which could carry through until the end of the season, if the FA decide to make an example of the Newcastle boss.
Reaction on Tyneside has been less damning. A poll in The Journal’s sister paper The Chronicle confirmed that respondents did not want the Newcastle boss to pay for the incident with his job, and there has been an undercurrent of feeling that the reaction has been slightly overblown given the severity of the incident.
But senior figures in football have lined up to condemn Pardew, with even League Managers Association chief Richard Bevan branding it “unacceptable and inappropriate”. The Journal’s columnist Don Hutchison – who played under Pardew at West Ham – has suggested that the manager might be best advised to seek anger management courses to ensure that he keeps his emotions in check.
Still, it seemed a little unnecessary for Humberside Police to confirm that Pardew would not face a police investigation for the incident. Neither Meyler nor Hull City had made any formal complaint about a clash of the sort which happens on football pitches regularly.
The FA are understandably less keen to show clemency and made it clear in the wording of their statement that it is a serious incident. The hearing may come as early as Friday, although it is expected at the early part of next week. Pardew will request a personal hearing to set out his mitigation.
An FA statement read: “Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew has been charged in relation to an incident in his side’s game against Hull City on 1 March 2014.
“It is alleged that in the 72nd minute of the fixture, Pardew was involved in an incident with a Hull City player that amounted to improper conduct.
“Due to the serious violent and/or aggressive nature of the reported behaviour this case has been designated as non-standard.”
Bevan said that the LMA were considering changes to the technical area in wake of the incident.
“It was unacceptable and inappropriate,” he said.
“It was a moment of madness and Alan apologised immediately and unreservedly to Hull City, their fans and to Newcastle fans.
“And it was good to see the interview with Steve Bruce (Hull manager) who accepted the apology on behalf of the club.”
Republic of Ireland boss Roy Keane was asked about Meyler. He said: “He did exactly what you would expect him to do. He’s a Corkman, isn’t he?
“I had to put that one in. We don’t go down easily. I’m not sure I would have got involved in anything like that.”