David Moyes 'slap' remark: Sunderland boss gives FA written observations

By Richard ConwayBBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent
Moyes 'deeply regrets' slap remark

Sunderland manager David Moyes has provided the Football Association with his written observations after telling BBC reporter Vicki Sparks last month she might "get a slap".

The FA must now decide whether to charge Moyes over those comments, which came following his team's draw against Burnley in the Premier League.

Moyes has expressed his "deep regret" for his response after an interview in which he was asked by Sparks if the presence of Sunderland's owner Ellis Short put extra pressure on him.

He said "no" but, after the interview, added that Sparks "might get a slap even though you're a woman" and that she should be "careful" next time she visited.

The BBC understands that Moyes was also involved in an angry exchange involving another female BBC reporter in December 2012.

Moyes, the manager of Everton at the time, is believed to have been unhappy with Jacqui Oatley's questions concerning an on-field incident missed by the referee, involving Marouane Fellaini. The then Everton midfielder headbutted Stoke's Ryan Shawcross and was subsequently banned for three matches by the FA for violent conduct.

After asking Moyes on-camera about the matter Oatley then posed two follow-up questions about the incident and the impact of losing Fellaini for a number of games due to a potential ban.

Moyes, looking irritated, replied: "Bad enough asking me about the first one never mind asking me another one. I've not seen the other stuff.

"It's down to the FA. I've answered your question and you've come back with another one."

David Moyes of Sunderland
Sunderland have given their support to boss David Moyes but say his comments were "wholly inappropriate"

The interview then ended but Moyes is understood to have angrily confronted Oatley over her questions off-camera, directing expletive-laden remarks towards her.

The exchange between Moyes and Oatley was not sexist in nature and it is believed there was no reference to the reporter's gender.

Oatley is believed to have complained to Everton's head of communications, who has since left the club, but allegedly failed to receive a call or letter in response.

Last week Moyes expressed his "deep regret" for his words to Sparks telling reporters he did not see such behaviour "as being something which is in my character. It is something which is out of character."

He also said: "I think you all know my character, you know who I am."

A spokesperson for Sunderland declined to comment when contacted.

Everton said in a statement: "We are unaware of any complaint. The club would strongly condemn any behaviour by an employee which is threatening or abusive to anyone doing their job."

A spokesperson for the BBC said: "This incident took place five years ago and we're looking into what actions were taken at the time."

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