(Originally posted Monday, 13 November 2006 on Harder Hedda)
Apologetic Newell faces Luton D-dayMon 13 Nov, 11:45 AMLuton have called an emergency board meeting for Monday to discuss Mike Newell's future, despite his apology for criticising female officials.The Hatters hierarchy are understood to be unhappy with their manager's remarks, which were made after Luton's 3-2 home defeat by QPR in the Championship on Saturday.A statement on the club's official website read: "An emergency board meeting of the directors of Luton Town has been called for 4pm today (Monday)."The meeting is to discuss the comments made by the manager, Mike Newell, at Saturday's post-match press conference."A formal statement will be made following the board meeting."Newell on Monday apologised for his outburst against women officials in professional football.Newell claimed after Saturday's home defeat by QPR that assistant referee Amy Rayner should not have been allowed to run the line in a Championship match.But the 41-year-old admitted his comments were "out of order" and revealed he has attempted to speak to Rayner to apologise in person.Newell said: "I want to apologise publicly to Amy Rayner and to anyone else I have offended."The comments I made were ill-timed and out of order. I wanted to apologise privately before I apologised publicly, but I could not get hold of Amy Rayner."I have not spoken to her, but I have left messages and I will continue to try to speak to her."Newell's contrition might not be sufficient to save his job.Newell claimed the club had gone backwards since chairman Bill Tomlins took over in 2004, but would not retract those comments.Asked whether he regretted those remarks, Newell said: "I very rarely say things I do not mean."I have not spoken to the chairman. They have called a meeting, and I am sure I will learn the outcome."Will I be the manager at the weekend? That is a question for the board, but I am not going to resign."
Mike Newell, after his football team's (Luton) defeat started a string of sexist comments not only directed towards the female referee, Amy Rayner, but at all female officials,
"She should not be here. I know that sounds sexist, but I am sexist, so I am not going to be anything other than that.
"We have a problem in this country with political correctness, and bringing women into the game is not the way to improve refereeing and officialdom.
"It is absolutely beyond belief. When do we reach a stage when all officials are women, because then we are in trouble?
"It is bad enough with the incapable referees and linesmen we have, but if you start bringing in women, you have big problems.
"This is Championship football. This is not park football, so what are women doing here? It is tokenism, for the politically-correct idiots.''
It seems Mr. Newell does not like the idea of having to face his own inadequacies as a manager, rather he would use Ms. Rayner as a scapegoat to cover it up. The match was on home ground and Luton lost 3-2 to QPR, however rather then apologise to the fans for his team's defeat, Newell has decided to place the blame on the shoulders on one of the few female referees. The consequences of his actions for himself and his own position are un-known as of yet however it is possible that his remarks towards women in football may have a lasting impression on any of the young women and girls interested in getting involved in the sport. If this is the case, it'll take more then a stern talking to and a slap on the wrists to rectify it ( I'm still waiting on those tomatoes). And, if my knowledge of football is at all correct, no manager is suppose to critique the ref's decision whether they are male or female, (I think the term we are all looking for is 'Stop digging, Mike!')
But one good thing is being shown from this, sexism won't be tolerated even in areas that are supposedly 'Men only'. Newell will have to face the music this evening and I'm sure you know what result I'm hoping for.
Rayner 1 - Newell 0.