NEWCASTLE boss Alan Pardew could learn with 24 hours how the Football Association intends to deal with his headbutt at Hull.
The 52-year-old was fined £100,000 and severely reprimanded by the Magpies on Saturday night after clashing with Tigers midfielder David Meyler on the touchline during his side’s 4-1 Barclays Premier League victory at the KC Stadium earlier that day.
It is understood that, while owner Mike Ashley was furious with his manager, he considers the matter now dealt with and Pardew’s job is not at risk.
However, it seems inevitable that the FA will act over a particularly unsavoury incident.
Disciplinary chiefs will consider match referee Kevin Friend’s report before deciding what action to take, and it would be no surprise if Pardew was charged before being handed a lengthy touchline ban and another sizeable fine.
He and Meyler came into contact as the player chased a ball over the sideline with the home side trailing 3-1.
The Newcastle manager reacted angrily and thrust his head towards the midfielder, who confronted him.
Players from both sides tried to act as peacemakers and Friend took charge, booking Meyler before sending Pardew to the stands.
Pardew later issued an apology, which was accepted by opposite number Steve Bruce, but that cut little ice with his employers, who delivered their punishment hours later.
It is not the first time Pardew has become embroiled in a touchline spat, and League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan was quick to condemn his behaviour.
Bevan told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme: “The buck stops with Alan. It’s unacceptable, it’s inappropriate and it’s insupportable from every perspective, and Alan knows that.
“He immediately realised the serious error, [made] sincere apologies to all parties and obviously [has] deep regret.
“It was good to see Steve Bruce’s reaction and Hull accepting [Pardew’s apology], but Alan does need to think hard about how not to put himself in that position again.”
Pardew’s misdemeanour comes after another turbulent few months for the Magpies, who look to have turned things around on the pitch with two successive league victories after a run of three defeats.
Yohan Cabaye’s sale to Paris St Germain and the decision not to replace him in January were followed by director of football Joe Kinnear’s departure and another derby defeat by Sunderland, leading sections of the club’s support to call for the manager’s head.
Mark Jensen, editor of online fanzine www.themag.co.uk, believes Pardew can consider himself fortunate to have survived after Saturday’s incident.
Jensen said: “If Pardew did go, it’s hard to see who would want to work under the current constraints that the manager seems to have at Newcastle.
“In an ideal world, you would like the club to be in a position where it was strong enough to deal with something this big by sacking the manager if they felt that was appropriate.
“But the players do seem to play for him so I suppose from a practical point of view, I wouldn’t be in favour of getting rid of Pardew.
“But when you look at it, he is probably very lucky to have kept his job.”