Apparently the FA are preparing to throw the book at Newcastle boss Alan Pardew – and so they should.
The infamous headbutt dished out to Hull’s David Meyler was appalling but in hindsight not that surprising.
In September 2012, Pardew was slapped with a £20,000 fine and a two-match touchline ban for pushing an assistant referee at a Tottenham clash
He has also been involved in touchline argy bargy with Manuel Pellegrini, Arsene Wenger and Martin O’Neill. If the FA had been more proactive in stamping out touchline aggression this sorry incident might not have happened.
Now the FA has to show some firm leadership and send a message that this kind of ugly behaviour is not welcome in the beautiful game.
Yes Pardew has apologised and been hit with a £100,000 fine from his club, but in my mind that is not enough.
There has been speculation that Pardew is facing a stadium ban for anything from five to 12 weeks. I hope it is the latter. I think the FA also has to move to a system, similar to the one used in rugby, where managers are not on the touchline, but up in the stands.
Premiership managers are under masses of pressure to produce results and emotions can spill over on the pitch. What good does it serve to have a manager there in the first place? The players are professionals and should go on the pitch knowing what they need to do. A manager gesticulating and arm-waiving on the sidelines serves very little useful purpose.
It’s time the FA took a tough line and sent out a clear message, otherwise the hooligans really will have won the day.