The FA were last night considering appealing against an independent disciplinary commission for the second time in a week after Newcastle manager Alan Pardew escaped with a seven-match ban for butting Hull’s David Meyler.
The punishment, made up of a three-match stadium ban and a four-game touchline suspension, is a record for a Premier League manager but it is sufficiently lenient to spare Pardew further censure from Newcastle amid fears he was in danger of being sacked.
But FA officials are baffled by the verdict, not least the decision to split the suspension, and they may appeal after receiving the panel’s written reasons, which are expected on Friday. While the case underlines the independence of these
commissions, the FA have again been left frustrated by their own disciplinary process.
Last week it emerged that they wanted to see West Bromwich’s Nicolas Anelka banned for 10 matches for his ‘quenelle’ goal celebration, rather than the five games he received.
The FA are considering an appeal against that judgment as well, with an announcement expected tomorrow.
Clearly, the FA thought Pardew deserved a harsher punishment for his attack on Meyler.
In the wake of Paul Ince’s five-match stadium ban for a physical confrontation with a fourth official in the tunnel earlier this season, a stadium ban as long as 10 matches was thought possible.
As things stand Pardew will not return to the Newcastle dug-out until the final three games of the season, at the end of April.
Pardew attended the two-hour hearing at Wembley and his admission of guilt, as well as the mitigation he offered, was clearly well received by the commission.
Nevertheless, he will not be present for Newcastle’s visit to Fulham on Saturday.
Pardew will also miss home clashes with Crystal Palace and Everton, handing control to assistant John Carver before returning to the stands for the visit to Southampton.
Then he misses home games against Manchester United and Swansea City and the trip to Stoke City. He will return for the Arsenal game at the Emirates on April 29.
Pardew has also been fined £60,000, on top of the £100,000 fine he received from Newcastle immediately after the incident. Last night he said: ‘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.
‘I will accept the punishment handed down by the FA today. My focus now turns to preparing the team for this weekend’s game against Fulham and finishing the season as strongly as possible.’ – Daily Mail