ALAN PARDEW has accepted an FA charge of misconduct, but the Newcastle manager has requested a personal hearing in order to provide mitigation for the headbutt he aimed at Hull City midfielder David Meyler last weekend.
Pardew and Meyler clashed on the touchline at the KC Stadium with the Magpies boss leaning his head into the former Sunderland playmaker after he had been pushed.
The FA charged Pardew on Monday morning, and branded the case as “non-standard”, a definition that effectively enables them to hand out an unlimited punishment.
Pardew has opted not to challenge the misconduct verdict, but will appear in front of the FA’s disciplinary commission in order to explain his actions. A date for the hearing is still to be set, but is expected to be sometime next week.
The Newcastle boss, who has already been hit with a £100,000 fine by his employers, will be hoping that a personal appearance helps limit the damage caused by his latest disciplinary offence, although it is hard to see how he can avoid a lengthy punishment.
Paul Ince received a five-game stadium ban when he manhandled an official during his time as Blackpool manager, and FA officials are understood to view Pardew’s offence as more serious given the high-profile nature of the Premier League encounter, the aggressive intent of his actions and the fact he had already been warned as to his future conduct after he pushed assistant referee Peter Kirkup at Tottenham in 2012.
Rotherham boss Steve Evans was handed a six-game stadium ban and fined £3,000 after being found guilty of ‘using abusive and insulting words and behaviour with a reference to gender’ during his time at Crawley Town.
Those two punishments are the heaviest stadium bans handed out by the FA, but given that there is not really a precedent for Pardew’s actions, it is hard to assess how the governing body will view the gravity of his loss of control.
A stadium ban is regarded as more likely than a simple touchline punishment, although a heavy fine could also be handed down as part of the overall package.
Whatever happens, Pardew will not receive any further admonishment from his club, who regard Saturday night’s statement as their final say on the matter.
There is no chance of the 52-year-old being dismissed, even if he is unable to play an active role in the majority of the remaining ten matches of the season.
Meanwhile, Willie Donachie has taken responsibility for his actions after he was forced to step down from his role as Newcastle’s reserve-team boss last month.
Donachie was suspended after he allegedly struck defender Remie Streete in the wake of Newcastle’s development-team defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, and the former Scotland international felt he had no option other than to reluctantly resign from his position.
“What I try to teach the players is to be responsible for your actions,” said Donachie. “Don’t try to blame anyone else. And so I’m going to go somewhere else to try to be a great coach.
“All I’ve had is support and people wishing me well. I want to say thank you to the people of Newcastle, who have been very supportive, especially all my neighbours and a lot of people at the club. The Newcastle people are tough people – but they’ve got big hearts.”