Newcastle 'relief' at Pardew ban, but will FA appeal?
Seven-game ban hailed as 'proportionate', but FA wanted a harsher punishment
ALAN PARDEW has got off relatively lightly after appearing to headbutt Hull player David Meyler during a game earlier this month. The Newcastle United manager was yesterday handed a seven-match ban and fined £60,000 by an independent FA panel after admitting a charge of misconduct. The punishment is the severest ever handed down to a Premier League manager, notes the Daily Telegraph. "But there was still a sense of relief at Newcastle United after he avoided a longer stadium ban." Pardew, who has already been fined £100,000 and given a formal warning by the club, will be banned from entering the stadium where his side are playing for three games, and will have to spend the next four watching from the stands. During the stadium ban Pardew has been ordered not to contact his staff, but "it is difficult to see how the FA can prevent him from contacting coaches via a mobile phone, laptop or tablet device when they are in the dressing room," says the Telegraph. "In theory, Pardew could even deliver a pre-match and half-time team talk via Skype. He will almost certainly be able to watch the match on a live stream unless the FA places an official with him to monitor his behaviour for the whole 90 minutes." Newcastle's swift acceptance of the punishment suggests the are "relatively happy with the outcome" it adds. The FA itself is not as pleased, according to the Daily Mail, and is even considering appealing against its own panel. The paper says the FA is "baffled" by the punishment and is awaiting the written report of the panel. "While the case underlines the independence of these disciplinary commissions the FA have yet again been left frustrated by their own disciplinary process... Clearly, the FA thought Pardew deserved a harsher punishment for his attack on Meyler." But the outcome was "substantive but proportionate", claims George Caulkin of The Times. Pardew's actions were "unpleasant" and "embarrassing" but there was no danger of injury to the player. "There are moments when the game's outrage at the outrageous feels untethered and this has been one of them," he says. Fans of Pardew's touchline machinations need not be disappointed by his seven match sabbatical, says Louise Taylor in The Guardian. The man filling in for him will be first team coach John Carver. He "can be almost as combustible as Pardew", she notes, recalling how he once fought with Craig Bellamy at Newcastle airport after a row over parking. But she adds that he will have to be "on his best behaviour" for the next few games as Pardew stews in his hotel.