THE Football Association's independent regulatory commission has admitted that Alan Pardew's punishment for his head-butt on Hull City midfielder David Meyler could have been more severe.
The Newcastle United boss has been handed a seven-match ban, the first three of which are a stadium ban, and the commission has released its written explanation for the decision - while suggesting they could have handed a five-match stadium ban.
Pardew appeared before the comission on March 11, ten days after the incident at the KC Stadium, and he has learned the ban he has received coupled with a £60,000 fine could have been worse.
The commission said: "In considering the sanction to be imposed, the commission considered initially a five-match stadium ban and a higher fine.
"But, based on the mitigation presented together with the action taken by both the club and Mr Pardew, the regulatory commission came to the conclusion that the appropriate sanction set out below was fair, reasonable and proportionate and thus ordered as follows: "Mr Pardew be warned as to his future conduct; be suspended immediately until such time as Newcastle United FC has completed seven first team matches. The first three matches imposed are a stadium ban with the remaining four a touchline ban from first team fixtures; Mr Pardew is fined the sum of £60,000."
Pardew had to watch the Newcastle's defeat to Fulham last Saturday from the team hotel and he quickly made it clear that he would not appeal the decision. He has also indicated he will be seeking advice from Richard Bevan, chief executive of the League Managers' Association, who was at the hearing, to curb his anger on the touchline.
The commission also took into account previous offences and viewed video footage of the incident, as well as looking at the written report from match referee Kevin Friend and his assistants.
It continued: "The commission also considered the impact of this type of incident in football in general and could not escape from the fact that a vast number of people would have seen the incident on national and international television.
"Bluntly, Mr Pardew had little option but to admit the charge and to apologise accordingly. Mr Pardew is a high-profile and very experienced manager at a high-profile and well-respected club in a high profile league and where matches are watched worldwide.
"This is, on any view, a serious incident which has to be sanctioned accordingly, but at the same time proportionately."