The witch-hunt for David Moyes’s head in the media is bordering on vicious and there is a clearly a vendetta being played out, and it is motivated by something other than his discretion against Vicki Sparks.
Moyes was caught off camera claiming he would slap Sparks if she questioned him, as she had done, like that again – but it was all in such good spirits, everyone in the area was laughing, nobody treated like a distinct thereat of physical violence.
The media knew very little of it until recently but once this was leaked parts of the press have jumped on it.
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) April 3, 2017
There was nothing vindictive or sinister about this, and if anything he was clearly having some fun with Sparks about her questioning – she did not take offence camera but had what was nothing more than a ‘laugh’ following the interview. Sparks did not make any complaint, nor did the BBC who she was working for. Clearly if she had, things would be different – if she was upset, then yes maybe things should be taken further, but that is not the case.
Moyes has apologised to Sparks, he has admitted he was wrong – but he lose his job over it?
No doubting what he was said was inappropriate, but not because she was a woman, it was inappropriate to talk to any reporter like that – would he have said a similar thing to a male counterpart? I think he would have.
The Football Association have asked for observations, given the media storm – but their punishment, if any, will not be hard hitting.
What happened to Louis van Gaal last season when he publicly ridiculed a journalist for being a ‘fat man’ That was laughed off because the jovial Dutchman was not being vicious – how is that any different?
I am no fan of David Moyes, he is not the most media friendly or pleasant man to deal with off the pitch – but he should in no way be hung-out-to-dry in this circumstance.
Some of the reaction has genuinely bordered on hysteria, and much of it from people who had only read about and it and not even watched the footage.
And the parts of the media pushing for Moyes’s departure should be careful what they wish for. Managers and clubs are already very wary of the ‘new-age’ modern media and how things even off-the-record can be used and should the Sunderland manager be forced out, there will inevitably be some sort of lock-down and the access will be limited further, and you could not argue against that.
Moyes’s current record is poor at Sunderland and if he is sacked or resigns, it should be in the wake of his side’s poor performances – not for his comments, which were in jest and in no way a serious threat.