Moyes handed another week to respond to ‘slap’ comment

Date published: Wednesday 3rd May 2017 3:40

Sunderland boss David Moyes has been given another week to respond to a Football Association charge over his “slap” comment to a female journalist.

Moyes was given until 6pm this evening to make representations when he was charged with bringing the game into disrepute last week.

However, the Football Association has confirmed to Press Association Sport that the 54-year-old Scot requested further time and now has until May 10 to respond.

 

The Black Cats boss was charged after footage of an exchange between him and BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks was published by a national newspaper.

Moyes appeared unhappy with a question asked by Sparks following his side’s 0-0 Premier League draw with Burnley at the Stadium of Light on March 18 and thinking the cameras were no longer running, warned her to be careful and suggested he might “slap” her if she asked similar questions in the future.

He later apologised to Sparks by telephone and did so publicly at his next press conference amid a furore over his comments.

Moyes, whose employers stood by him despite condemning his comments, was initially asked for his observations by the FA and later charged in connection with the incident.

The extension came as speculation mounted over the Glaswegian’s future on Wearside after relegation to the Sky Bet Championship was confirmed on Saturday.

However, Press Association Sport understands that Moyes is yet to decide which way to jump having sent out mixed messages both before and after the Black Cats’ fate was sealed.

The manager insisted he had the appetite to spearhead a rebuilding programme should the worst happen, but also said he would take stock at the end of the season in the run-up to the Bournemouth game.

Speaking after Josh King’s late strike had ended the club’s 10-year stay in the top flight, he said he would take time to assess the situation over the next week or so, but declined to comment on his own situation.

Owner Ellis Short, who revealed last summer that Moyes had been his “number one managerial target for the last five appointments”, released a statement on Saturday evening admitting that mistakes had been made during his tenure, and it is true that the Scot inherited a difficult situation.

He was handed the reins in July following Sam Allardyce’s departure for England and had just a matter of weeks in which to reshape his squad in the wake of yet another ultimately successful relegation fight.

Moyes was unaware of the full extent club’s parlous financial situation – Sunderland last week reported a loss of £33million after tax for the year to July 21, 2016 and a reduced net debt of £110.4million – and although the club spent a total of £27.1million on Didier Ndong, Papy Djilobodji, Paddy McNair and Donald Love, his recruitment since has been done on a shoestring.

In addition, he has been desperately unfortunate with injuries with Lee Cattermole, Jan Kirchhoff, McNair and Duncan Watmore having missed much of the campaign and a series of other man having also sat out for significant periods.

However, the former Everton, Manchester United and Real Sociedad boss has been unable to make any significant impact on the fortunes of a team which has relied too heavily on young goalkeeper Jordan Pickford at one end and veteran striker Jermain Defoe at the other.

Moyes and chief executive Martin Bain were employed by Short to implement a long-term plan and there has been no appetite to rip that up and start all over again in recent months with the manager having been told he was safe whatever happened.

The three men held a scheduled meeting in London on Sunday and will reconvene during the weeks ahead to decide the way forward.

But as relegation became inevitable, large sections of the support stared to turn and whether or not Moyes wants to or will be allowed to continue to oversee that project, with revenue streams set to plummet, remains to be seen.

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