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Friday, 9 June 2017

Former Sunderland boss David Moyes fined £30,000 after telling BBC reporter Vicki Sparks 'you might get a slap even though you're a woman'

Former Sunderland manager David Moyes has been fined £30,000 by the Football Association for a veiled threat to 'slap' a BBC journalist in March. The 54-year-old Scot was forced to apologise to Match of the Day interviewer Vicki Sparks for his off-camera remarks following the goalless draw at home to Burnley on March 18. 
Sparks had asked Moyes if he was under more pressure because owner Ellis Short had appeared at the Stadium of Light for the first time since the start of the season.

Moyes answered: 'No, none at all'. But when the interview finished, he said: 'You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you're a woman. Careful the next time you come in.'

Moyes refused to resign his position and the club stood by him at the time, although he has subsequently been sacked following relegation from the Premier League.

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker said Moyes had treated Sparks with 'utter disdain' and called his actions 'inexcusable', while the domestic abuse charity Wearside Women in Need said they were 'appalled' by the 53-year-old's behaviour. 


The FA initially asked Moyes for his observations and having received them opted to charge him, alleging his comments were 'improper and/or threatening and/or brought the game into disrepute, contrary to FA Rule E3(1)'.

However, the governing body did not accuse him of an aggravated breach, which it might have done had he referred specifically to Sparks' gender.  Moyes said after the incident, which was recorded by a BBC colleague on a mobile phone, came to light: 'I deeply regret (what I said) and I've done what I had to do and apologised, which I was right to do so.

'In the heat of the moment, I made a mistake in my comment to a BBC reporter which I profoundly regret. I was disappointed with myself for it. I subsequently phoned the reporter and apologised, which she accepted.' 

When asked if he expected to keep his job, Moyes said: 'Yes. I don't see it as being something which is in my character. It is something which is out of character. As I said, I've apologised to the girl.'
And he rejected Lineker's opinion, adding: 'No, I don't agree (with what he said).

'In the heat of the moment, sometimes the questions come in and you can answer them wrongly. You don't always say the right things. Sometimes you don't always answer things the way you want to.'

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