Much was said at the time when Newcastle’s manager was given an extraordinary eight year contract, what though are the potential ramifications for Pardew and Ashley on the fallout of the Hull incident?
This top legal perspective on how the Pardew/Meyler incident can impact on his contract, has been provided by sports and employment specialist solicitor, Ashley Wootton, of leading law firm Thomas Eggar LLP.
“Alan Pardew, Newcastle United’s manager is facing the possibility of a lengthy touchline ban from the FA and the possibility of further disciplinary sanctions from the club. Newcastle have reportedly already handed Pardew a £100,000 fine and issued him with a formal warning, however there are reports that, depending on the severity of the FA’s charge against Pardew, the club could potentially investigate Pardew for an act of gross misconduct.
“Pardew is reportedly 2 years into an 8 year deal he signed in 2012. The logic behind such a long term deal was questioned at the time, particularly as Newcastle suffered an indifferent season in 2012/13. Newcastle’s performances have picked up this year, meaning the manager’s position has not been under much pressure so far; however this latest incident could act as a catalyst to potentially dismiss Pardew.
“A gross misconduct dismissal would represent Newcastle summarily dismissing Pardew for breach of contract. The effect of that would be that Newcastle could walk away from a potential 6 year pay off figure that Pardew would otherwise be entitled to if he was dismissed for any other reason. The question therefore will be whether the act is enough to constitute gross misconduct? Pardew does have a record of improper behaviour on the touchline, however he has never gone as far as to strike an opposing player before. Given the incident was caught on TV, the evidence against Pardew is strong. However, whether it is reasonable in all the circumstances to dismiss is open to debate. Those against will argue that players have done far worse and not been sacked, therefore why should it be any different for a manager? That argument can be countered by reference to the need to lead by example and promote the club’s interests by acting professionally and with integrity.
“It is likely the FA will charge Pardew and ban him for a relatively long period. If Newcastle believe that the effect of that ban and the negative PR associated with the incident becomes too much, they may suspend their manager with a view to dismissing him for gross misconduct.”