Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has been suspended for seven matches by the English Football Association for his headbutt to Hull City midfielder David Meyler.
The FA confirmed the decision in a release on its website Tuesday:
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew will serve a seven-match suspension with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, after he admitted an FA misconduct charge.
An Independent Regulatory Commission today [Tuesday 11 March 2014] ruled the first three-matches imposed are a stadium ban with the remaining four a touchline ban.
Pardew was also fined £60,000 and warned as to his future conduct.
Pardew reacted to the ban in a release on Newcastle's website:
As I have made clear, I deeply regret the incident and again wholeheartedly apologise to all parties for my conduct, which I understand was not acceptable.
I will accept the punishment handed down by the FA today. My focus now turns to preparing the team for this weekend's game against Fulham and finishing the season as strongly as possible.
Pardew made contact with the Hull player during a dispute late in a 4-1 Magpies victory. The moment immediately eliminated all the positive vibes from a great performance by Newcastle, as the sole focus was on the actions of the veteran manager.
The club's official site provided comments from the 52-year-old boss after the match:
I'm the Newcastle United manager and I would like to apologise to all our fans for my conduct.
It was wrong and is a wake-up call for me to go and sit down and have a think.
I did not mean any damage to the guy but I have moved my head forward. I tried to push him away with my head but I should not have done that.
I apologise to everyone. I should not have got involved in it.
Newcastle also announced a £100,000 fine for Pardew:
We have held discussions this evening with Alan who has offered his sincere apologies to the Club and it is clear he deeply regrets his actions. Alan has accepted a formal warning from the Club in relation to his behaviour today and also a Club fine of £100,000.
Meyler made first contact as he blew past the English manager in an attempt to retrieve the ball for a throw-in. Pardew was not happy with the shove and confronted the midfielder, coming head-to-head as part of his retaliation.
The response was swift. Longtime striker and current broadcaster Gary Lineker summed up a vast majority of the reaction:
Even though Meyler started the chain of events while trying to chase down the ball, the general feeling is that a manager shouldn't end up in that situation. And by no means should he headbutt an opposing player.
The situation was quickly brought back under control after the two parties were separated, and Pardew's immediate apology after the match made it clear he realized his mistake. It wasn't enough to save him from the club fine and a ban, however.
Although the fairness of the punishments is up for debate, they send a clear message about the type of conduct expected from a manager in the Premier League. It's a warning to all other managers to keep their emotions in check during a match.
In the Pardew-less weeks ahead, Newcastle will look to make a charge up the table. At 10 points behind fifth-place Tottenham, they still have an outside chance of claiming a European berth with a strong finish, but it's unclear how the Magpies will respond to the manager's absence.
As for Pardew, he'll undoubtedly be under close watch when he returns April 28 for the club's remaining contests against Arsenal, Newcastle and Liverpool. It's the type of incident that could end up defining part of his career, especially if there are more aggressive acts in the future.
Newcastle hope the punishments serve their purpose and everybody can move forward once the ban comes to a close.