Managers and players jawing on the touch-line is nothing new in the world of football, but rarely does the interaction get physical. That was not the case when Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and Hull City midfielder David Meyler got into an altercation and Pardew head-butted Meyler. Even as soon as right after the game, Pardew knew he had made a monumental mistake and apologized in the post game press conference. Today he has received a seven-game ban from the FA, the governing body of English Football.
Pardew’s ban is the largest ban ever given to a manager by the FA, though some thought it might have been even more severe. The ban is broken up into two different parts, the first four games he is completely banned from the team and not allowed to interact with the team at all. The last three games of the seven are slightly less severe, as he is allowed to interact with the team and attend the games, only being banned from managing from the touch-line. Many thought the ban would be either the rest of the season, or that the entire ban would be like the first four games where he would not be able to interact with the team at all. Even though this is the largest ban ever given to a manager, it is almost a relief to Pardew considering the severity of the act.
Pardew is no stranger to controversy in his time as a manager and has gotten into several altercations previously. In January of this year he got into a verbal altercation on the touch-line with Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini after Pellegrini accused Pardew of trying to persuade the referees to make calls in Newcastle’s favor. Only after being told by reporters that the cameras caught him using vulgar language did Pardew apologize for the incident. The head-butt is not the first time his altercations have gotten physical. In August of 2012, he pushed a referee after disagreeing with an out-of-bounds call.
While this is not Pardew’s first touch-line controversy, it will be his most expensive. His own club Newcastle have fined him 100,000 pounds on top of his suspension. 100,000 pounds is a lot of money for anyone to have to give up, but this is especially so for a manager because they make far less on average than the players. With his team currently sitting in eighth place in the English Premier League and only one point ahead of the ninth place team, Southampton, this is a very bad time of the season for him to miss. They have very little chance of making European competition and are not in contention for the FA Cup so they really have nothing to lose, but the front office of the club will not be happy with Pardew if they lose ground on the EPL table because of his poor behavior.
Alan Pardew should feel a sense of relief that his ban for head butting was only seven games considering the severity of the act and his past incidents. He may have needed a more harsh punishment to show him that his behavior needs to change and Newcastle are hoping fining him 100,000 pounds will do just that.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius