I have never been shy to voice my opinions on the paranormal reality of the world of football. The very first post on this blog, well over a year ago, talked about “The Safest Job in the World” and how football players can seemingly play badly week after week and yet still be played and still be paid. I’ve also made a point that “If Roger Johnson Had a Real Job” I’m pretty sure he would be disciplined or sacked.
Yes, football is a different industry and a different world, but is that really an excuse for human beings, no different to you and me, to be able to conduct themselves in ways that seemingly makes them immortal, immune and invisible to consequence?
Last week the world of football threw up yet another example of how it functions not in the same realms of reality as ours, but with its own laws and morals.
When Alan Pardew made the split second decision to lunge his forehead towards an apposing teams player everyone watching was a-gasp. “Did he just do that?” “Did I just see that?” were probably the trending reactions across the country. Its one thing for players filled with adrenaline to square up to one another in the heat of battle, but a manager is a whole different story, and for me, should be dealt with in a whole different manner.
Think for a second, what would happen if the same thing happened in “the real world”. Lets say the manager of a factory head butts a production line worked from an competing factory. Firstly, that is assault. So on a fundamental and basic level, he should be arrested. Seems dramatic, but its true. If you or eye were seen performing that kind of behaviour in the street we would be arrested, not sent to a more comfortable seat and told to calm down.
Now lets add in the little fact about him assaulting somebody whilst at his place work. He should be sacked, with immediate affect. I know for sure that every one one of us (unless you are a professional wrestler/cage fighter) would EXPECT to be thrown the P45 after head butting a colleague or competitor.
So why not Pardew?
I mean, if I head butted somebody in my job I would be sent packing, as would all of us. But at least the incident would have happened in the privacy of our own work place, never for the wider world to know. Pardew conducted himself in this appalling way for all the world to see. As his employer, I’d have him out, immediately. As a representative of my company, or my club, or my business, he has a responsibility and a certain level of behaviour to uphold, and after all of his pushing, shoving and swearing on the touchline in recent seasons this would be the last straw.
Newcastle took swift action in fining Pardew £100k and a giving him a “warning”.
Quite simply: not good enough.
I’m not familiar with football manager wages, but I’m sure this wont leave him hungry and cold. And a warning? Thats is just insulting. An adult man in a profession in the public eye does not need to warned about violent conduct. That is a given. And to me, it is a given that nothing short of sacking is acceptable.
Luckily, the FA are yet to play their card and express their view on the incident, and so some sort of realistic discipline could still be dealt. They now have an opportunity to lay down a marker and set an example. A 5 or 10 match ban is nothing. It simply sets the precedent that violent behaviour from a Manager, a leader of men, means you can sit comfortably in a warm seat being paid, instead of actually doing your job, for a defined period of time.
I don’t expect much, our FA have never been famous for quality decision making when it comes to disciplinary action. And I don’t ever expect to see the morphed world of football values and morals to realign themselves with the real world during my life time. But I do expect Mr Pardew to face real and justified discipline. I won't hold my breath…
Since the publish of this post, the FA have confirmed that Alan Pardew is charged with Violent Conduct and has until Thursday to appeal.
Likely outcome is a further fine and suspension.