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Perspective needed on Pardew headbutt
Updated 2:05pm Tuesday 4th March 2014 in Sport
THERE never seems to be a shortage of controversy in football and Alan Pardew has ensured that is the case again.
Pundits have been falling over themselves to pillory the Newcastle United manager following his moment of madness against Hull City, in which he headbutted midfielder David Meyler.
First in the queue was the BBC's Robbie Savage, who suggested that the Football Association should "throw the book" at Pardew and ban him for 10 games.
A typically knee-jerk reaction from someone who, let's face it, was no stranger to a bit of physicality during his playing days.
Now, I'm not for one moment condoning what Pardew did. It was totally reprehensible and he deserves any punishment coming his way.
But I would call for a bit of perspective. Such scenes, sadly, are not uncommon on a football field and a lot less is made of them.
Usually, a player will be charged with violent conduct, served with a three-match ban and the matter closed.
Newcastle have already fined Pardew £100,000 and given him a formal warning. The FA will rightly investigate and take their own action.
Interestingly, there is a precedent here. In 2007, now Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates was given a four-match ban for headbutting Exeter City striker Lee Elam while in charge of Kidderminster Harriers.
Yates was also fined £350 for the incident, which took place at the end of the Aggborough match with Harriers losing 2-0.
Although Pardew's case will judged in isolation, on the face of it there doesn't appear to be much difference between the two.
The fact one was in non-league and the other in the Premier League should not matter, even if the FA want to make an example of the Magpies boss.
Where they differ is that Pardew has previous when it comes to touchline misdemeanors and that will no doubt count against him, so expect a lengthy ban.