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Wednesday 28 June 2017

David Moyes never considered resigning over 'slap' remark to female reporter

Sunderland manager David Moyes has apologised to a female reporter over his conduct
Sunderland manager David Moyes has apologised to a female reporter over his conduct

Sunderland boss David Moyes does not fear for his job and never considered resigning over his "slap" remark to a female reporter.

As the Football Association confirmed it would ask the club for an explanation of Moyes' comments to BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks, the 53-year-old Scot made a public apology, but vowed to carry on in his post.

Speaking to national newspapers at his pre-match press conference ahead of Sunderland's Premier League trip to Leicester on Tuesday, he said when asked if he had considered resigning: "No, never a consideration."

Moyes is also confident he can carry on with his job with owner Ellis Short and chief executive Martin Bain having been aware of what happened for some time.

He 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 have apologised to the girl."

A contrite Moyes found himself at the centre of a storm after video footage emerged of what he thought we off-camera comments to Sparks in the wake of a post-match interview on March 18.

The video, which was published by the Daily Star on Monday, captured the manager reacting to a question he did not like, saying: "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."

Both Moyes and Sparks were laughing during the exchange and the reporter did not make a complaint, although colleagues were unimpressed when they heard what had been said.

Speaking at his press conference, the Black Cats boss said: "In the heat of the moment, I made a mistake in my comments 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. It's not my character, it's not my type, as most people know and once again, I apologise for it."

However, shadow Sports Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan called upon the FA to take action via her Twitter account.

Dr Allin-Khan tweeted: "David Moyes cannot get away with these sexist threats - the @FA must take action immediately."

Asked if he was sexist, Moyes replied: "No. I think people who know me would say that and as I said in the heat of the moment, I used the wrong words."

Sunderland and perhaps Moyes himself will now have to discuss the matter with the FA, which is planning to ask for clarification.

A spokesman said: "We are seeking observations from the club."

Sunderland consider the matter dealt with and released a statement which said: "David and the reporter spoke to one another subsequently and the matter was resolved amicably."

The BBC too was content with Moyes' apology.

A spokesman said: "Mr Moyes has apologised to our reporter and she has accepted his apology."

However, Clare Phillipson, director of Wearside Women in Need, was stunned when she watched the video.

She said: "I think the FA have to look into it. It is for the FA to set a clear standard about what they think is acceptable. It was dreadful, absolutely appalling.

"This is a woman, in a very small minority of sports journalists, trying to go about her job and being threatened.

"It's the sort of thing you expect down the local pub, not the kind of thing you get from a professional football manager."

Former England striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker was also unimpressed, tweeting: "Moyes incident highlights a tendency for some managers to treat interviewers with utter disdain. Pressured job. Well rewarded. Inexcusable."

There was also a call from the Women in Football group for better education within the game.

A spokesperson said: "We are pleased that David Moyes has apologised. No one should be made to feel threatened in the workplace for simply doing their job.

"We hope that the football authorities will work with us to educate football managers and those working within the game to prevent this kind of behaviour."

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