Newcastle United: FA's Sentence of Alan Pardew Is Too Light

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Newcastle United: FA's Sentence of Alan Pardew Is Too Light
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

After his push on a sideline official against Tottenham Hotspur on August 18, Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has finally been sentenced by the FA.

As announced on the club website, Pardew will sit in the stands for two matches and his children will inherit £20,000 less than they otherwise would have.

Newcastle fans the world over have reacted negatively toward the penalty, claiming the incident was "a friendly tap" and saying his apology afterward should have warranted a lesser sentence, if one at all.

Obviously, justice is in the eye of the beholder. When you think a criminal has received a light sentence, it is worth remembering there was a reason for the sentence: someone else thought it was the right way to punish someone.

Not that I mean to call Pardew a criminal, just that there is a degree of subjectivity in these things.

But the reality is, he was lucky to escape with the punishment he got.

Pardew's advocates will argue that is wasn't a hard push, but neither was Gervinho's "slap" on Joey Barton early last season, which got him a three-game ban. For the record, that suspension was upheld even after review.

The push was a result of the heat of the moment, as Pardew was frustrated about a non-call of the ball going out. However, even with that in mind, the FA needs to set a precedent that any kind of unprofessional behaviour towards the officials should not be tolerated.

In 2011, Sir Alex Ferguson received a five-match ban and a £30,000 fine for calling referee Martin Atkinson weak, three of which were for the comments.

No matter what calls the officials have made, proper channels exist to hold them accountable and there is no excuse for acting in the way that Pardew or Sir Alex did.

A £30,000 fine (very roughly two weeks' wages for Pardew) and a suspension of three or four games would have been more appropriate. The FA has no reason to tolerate his behaviour.

And while I'm here, I've been meaning to write about something else that bothers me about these suspensions: why are the managers allowed to sit in the stands and communicate with the team while they do their penance?

If they can still watch the game and effectively order tactical changes from arguably a better perspective, there is no point in banning them at all.

I do like Pardew, but his punishment should have been steeper.

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